The main branch of the Norfolk Public Library was in the way of a new downtown light rail station and had to be relocated to both a temporary downtown site and an administrative center that would support the multiple branch locations. Norman Maas, Director of the library was assigned the responsibility of planning and coordinating the various details of the project. One of the primary concerns was the relocation process.
Mr. Maas could you give an insight into your concerns about relocating your library?
I think we were pretty clear as to the magnitude of what we were facing. To move an old Main Library into two separate locations would require a lot of good planning on the part of library staff, and would require us to work with a company who really would listen to our concerns, and advise us how to handle this major undertaking. The best part for library staff was that American Interfile & Library Services took the time daily to communicate fully with us to make things as simple and hassle free as possible
What parameters did you have for selecting a library relocation company?
Beside from placing on the street a very clear "request for services", our main concern was dealing with a company that really new how to move a library, and had staff who truly knew how to deal with the concerns librarians and library staff would bring to the table. Again, American Interfile & Library Services had that background and really delivered. The head of our Main Library and her staff still rave about the extra mile our movers went with us. Anytime a problem came up, American Interfile staff helped figure out a practical solution. The best part was that "we can get it done attitude".
You selected American Interfile and Library Services as the library relocation specialists for your move what did they bring to the program that helped to make your move successful?
American Interfile & Library Services patience with library staff, and helpful "can do" attitude was singularly the highlight of our move. We had to move into a historic building as a temporary main library and into an office/warehouse building in an industrial park. All of our public operations went into the historic building in Downtown Norfolk and our support staff for the entire library system including library administration, PR, children's service coordination, Volunteer Coordination, IT, Technical Services/ Collection Development and library business office went into a facility in an industrial park. The public building downtown had 48,000 square feet, and the Office Building / Warehouse had 32,000 square feet. Our original Main Library had 77,000 square feet.
The move took approximately 6 weeks and was done with no problems on the part of the moving company. The reality was that the movers became our partners in the move, and our daily emotional support unit. The staff of American Interfile was simply great!
Did your run into any problems with the planning and or execution of the move and was American Interfile able to help you overcome those problems?
No. We only had daily issues to overcome during our move that were more connected to issues about the buildings we were moving into. American Interfile staff helped us overcome a shortage of shelving we experienced during splitting the collection over two locations, and load problems with the downtown location. This we overcame by acquiring some used metal shelving and placing more of the collection in our service center. American Interfile helped us resolve so many issues in a practical straight forward way. Frankly speaking, they never created a crisis. Instead they simply helped us resolve issues in a very friendly and straightforward manner.
When the project was completed were all your moving expectations realized?
American Interfile completed the project on time and was really the perfect fit with my staff. They always were calm and collected and nothing was a big deal! Just the kind of company to get you through the very unnerving process of moving.
Norman L. Maas, Director
Norfolk Public Library