Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Wrapping Station

Finally, a project in the library for me to share! Not that I haven't done a million projects. I have, I just haven't thought to take pictures of them until I'm at home soaking my feet. Then the next day rolls around and I think, maybe? Eh. Next time.

But this time, I delivered-ish! The end result won't be featured in the pages of Real Simple, but it's practical, functional, and organized. Also, it no longer looks like this:

The library closet was the Island of Misfit School Supplies. Almanacs, decorations, chairs, filing cabinets, TVs, boxes, video tapes, tape decks, trophies, and a Vatican flag. (?)

It took me hours to wade through everything and dispose of what I could get away with without ruffling administrative feathers. You know me; given the choice I'd throw everything away and start all over. (Pointed look at the TV from 1993.)

This is where I was after a half day's work. I called it good until another day. Also, please excuse the quality of the pictures. I'm in a closet with a fluorescent light bulb hanging overheard. It's not flattering candle light.

Fast forward to Lent and the junior high kids, who must perform 4-5 service hours per week until Easter. I posted a sign-up sheet on the library door, and it filled up! Even high school kids (who have an even higher requirement) are showing up. This is great for me because I'm finally getting help in the library. This sucks for me because it means I'm at school until the earliest 5:00 pm, but I use the time to wrap books.

Which brings me to my new wrapping station. I had three kids empty out what was left in the closet (still a lot) and put it on the floor of the library. I sifted through everything. It took about 2 hours, and while I sifted, they washed the cabinets and counters.

Here is the after.

The books are a bit of a jumble, but that's because I started wrapping before I remembered I needed to take an after picture. (See books on counter.) Let's go through all my nooks and crannies and see how truly uptight I really am!

I took the above picture before I started wrapping books, and I'm glad because it allows me to show my system. It's pretty self explanatory, but I included geeky labels in the next picture because I can, frankly.

I can only fit the small book jacket covers in the cabinet above me, which is a shame. I'd love to have all the covers in one spot. The left softcover pile are the Caldecotts and picture books. They are a pain to wrap because they are thin and oddly shaped. Misery, seriously.

The larger softcover books are on the right--paperbacks, really-- and to the right of those are the hardcover books. Hardcovers are much, much easier to wrap.

In the bottom cabinet I have my laminate (various sizes) and my jacket covers, also in various sizes. On the bottom shelf I have a large bag to carry books home to wrap. You know, just in case I'm feeing insane.

The rug, which you can see in the first after picture, is from Mikey's--and then Nico's--nursery. Waste not, want not! :) I put it in the closet/wrapping station because I thought it might be good for my legs and back. I wrapped books for 2 hours while the kids did service hours and by the end of it my legs felt like they had been pummeled by battering rams. So, no, it's not enough and I'll have to buy one of those gushy grocery store mat-things (industry term). I'm also sitting at my desk to wrap books, but it's not ideal because I lose the leverage I get while standing.

As you can see, I have quite a few books to wrap--about 150-175. I'll be putting my new wrapping station to good use! Today I wrapped 10 books in 2 hours. I have about 30-40 hours of wrapping left to go. Internet, I'm screwed.


  1. You're not uptight, you just pay close attention to detail! Ha. At least, that's what I tell myself when I do the same things...

  2. [slow clap] Very, very nice, Mrs. Kendall!! The wrapping station at our school library is essentially a rolling "hospital", which gets parked at one of the tables in the library. I usually end up making a huge mess when I help wrap -- this set-up would be deluxe. But it really is slow work, right?!

  3. Just FYI - I have one of those cushy gel things in the kitchen, but when I have a marathon cooking session, my back/butt still hurts after 8 hours or so...

  4. librarian here with an office littered with piles of books in various stages of cataloging checking in ... our upstairs area looks like yours. we have bookcases with the various covers/sizes in each 'cubby.'

    but fortunately we have been using that less because we pay a little extra to BT for shelf-ready processing. if your budget allows for it, i highly recommend it.

  5. I'm really bad at wrapping books so my staff usually do it. Do you have any adult volunteers? You have to have someone who is really picky because I find those are the only type of people who wrap books properly. Everyone else, including me, does it too loose.

  6. I have a co-worker who says that compression stockings have saved her legs--her job requires standing all day. She says it's one of the best pieces of advice she's ever gotten. She started with the knee high length, then graduated to thigh high, and now that she's in her 40's, she's moved on to the waist high length. I know it's hot where you live, but it might be OK when you know you'll be in an air conditioned room all day; of course not so good when you have to cover recess.

  7. Looove Books! Love covering 'em up too! I sometimes buy books I don't need and cover them up just to unwind after a long day at work. Heehee


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