Temple prepares for move to new library

As constructions of the new Charles Library winds down, library organizers make plans to move the 1.8 million books to the new site.

Temple’s new library is being built along Liacouras and Polett walks. | COLIN PIERCE / FILE PHOTO

Temple Paley Library’s staff is preparing to move approximately 1.8 million titles as construction finishes up at their new location on Polett and Liacouras Walks.

“The biggest challenge is going to be doing it systematically and accurately, so nothing gets misplaced,” said Joe Lucia, dean of Temple Libraries.

Construction began on the new Charles Library in April 2016 and is set to finish in May 2019. The library is scheduled to open at the beginning of the Fall 2019 semester, and many hope the new space will increase student use.

The Charles Library will be a 225,000 square foot building with four levels. The new space will have more windows, an outdoor balcony on the fourth floor, several study areas, offices and a lecture hall.

Holly Maher, an undeclared sophomore, thinks a modernized space will attract more students, including herself.

“I mainly don’t use Paley because it seems depressing,” Maher said. “I’m hoping the [new] library will be more modern and a better place to study.”

Lucia and library staff plan to start moving books to the Charles Library in May. The staff, student workers and temporary workers are hoping to finish the move in July, giving the organizers 70 days to move everything.

Lucia said to finish moving by the July deadline, organizers must move at least 20,000 books each day. The library conducted research on the number of items in the library and how long it will take move the items and are is going to work with a moving management director to sort out the collection into three major components.

“We are excited about it and also concerned that we get it right,” Lucia said.

Books and other materials need to be sorted and packed to accommodate for the new library’s organization system, where a robot will retrieve books for library-goers. At Paley Library, students find titles for themselves or ask for assistance from the staff. Approximately 175,000 books will still be displayed for students to browse, Lucia said.

The library’s books and other forms of media need to be organized by height in order to be stored in the robotic storing system.

“We have to go through the collection multiple times, pulling books up to a certain height,” Lucia said. “Then the next wave will be the next size up, and then the last one will be the largest books.”

Kayley Nilon, a sophomore health professions student, uses the Paley Library almost every day but is looking forward to the new building.

“I think it’ll be a big improvement,” Nilon said. “If this is new and improved, it’ll get everyone there.”

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