Autumn on Lake Audobon

Autumn on Lake Audobon
Autumn on Lake Audubon, Photo by Alison Kamat

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Library e-mail tries to prevent public from learning about plans to close Sherwood Regional's second floor.


From: Jones, Christine
Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 6:42 PM
To: LIB-SH-ALL
Cc: White-Williams, Patricia
Subject: decision about the second floor
Importance: High

Hi, all.  Yesterday Library Administration confirmed that we will follow the 
recommendations for the second floor that Risk Manager Bob Johnson and I 
drafted.  Specifics are below and the change will begin January 1, 2015.

As before, please don't volunteer this info to the public yet.  If you are 
directly asked about why the conference rooms are unavailable, please explain 
that we are in the midst of reconfiguring the space in response to reduced 
staffing.  Please refer anybody who is not satisfied with that response to me.  
Marketing will have info for us to post shortly.

The tech lab will be open 1 pm - 5 pm Sunday through Thursday and will be 
staffed by Michael Whitaker.  SH staff will cover when Michael is on leave.  The 
lab will not be open on Fridays or Saturdays and the second floor will not be 
open to the public when the lab is closed (except the first Saturday of the 
month for the Friends' book sale).

1.)  Elevator and stairwells.  The elevator and stairwells will be locked when 
the lab is not open to prevent the public from accessing the second floor and 
its restrooms.  Library staff, Friends, and Mount Vernon at Home staff will be 
able to access the second floor through the unlocked stairwell in the staff 
workroom.  The public stairwell will be unlocked during staffed lab hours and 
when AARP volunteers hold tax prep hours.

2.)  Conference rooms.  The four conference rooms on the second floor will be 
permanently closed to the public.  Even when the tech lab is open the rooms are 
essentially unmonitored.  Three of the conference room doors don't have windows 
in them, which is risky under ideal circumstances and unacceptable on SH's 
second floor.

Conference room use is high.  To minimize inconvenience to the community we will 
restore the microfilm room on the first floor to its original purpose of 
conference room.  This will require re-installation of the door and moving the 
microfilm and reader printers to one of the second floor conference rooms.  
Microfilm could be used during open lab hours and I'm confident that other 
accommodations could be made as necessary.   (More to come on the logistics of 
moving the microfilm, Admin is working on that.)

The conference room in the annex could be used by library-sponsored or otherwise 
"known" groups (i.e. English conversation and book clubs).  It is not ideal 
public meeting space since it is accessed from the staff workroom or the 
outside, but that might be acceptable for some groups.  The other doors in the 
annex area are already equipped with locks to prevent annex conference room 
users from entering the staff workroom or the adjoining electrical closet.

Reduction of public meeting space will be the most unpopular consequence of 
reducing lab hours.  The recommendations above won't eliminate community 
unhappiness but they will minimize safety risks while ensuring that SH has at 
least as much public meeting space as other regional branches in FCPL.

3.)  One-on-One Internet Tutoring.  One-on-One Internet tutorials will take 
place during reduced lab hours or on the first floor public Internet stations 
during any open hours.

4.)  Friends.  The Friends will continue to use the second floor to sort and 
sell books, however, public access to the book sale will be restricted to 1 - 5 
pm Sunday through Thursday.  Their current book sale space on the first floor 
will not change.  Friends will be able to access the second floor from the 
stairwell in the staff workroom or may use the elevator (they have an elevator 
key to aid in transporting books between floors).  The second floor will also be 
open to the public for their monthly sales held on the first Saturday of the 
month.

5.)  Tax season.  AARP takes over most of the second floor during tax season and 
will be responsible for crowd control and safety while using the second floor.

6.)  Mount Vernon at Home.  No recommended changes to Mount Vernon at Home's use 
of the second floor.  Mount Vernon at Home staff will be able to access the 
second floor through the stairwell in the library workroom where they enter the 
building.

I know this is a big change for everybody and I regret that some folks might not 
accept the changes gracefully.  Please don't hesitate to refer people to me.  
Thanks, everybody.

Christine

Christine Jones
Acting Branch Manager
Sherwood Regional Library
2501 Sherwood Hall Lane
Alexandria, Virginia 22306-2799
703-718-8208
www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library>

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