You Can't Always Get What You Want
We had quite a bit we wanted to say last week about the latest installment in our move saga, but we opted to wait to see how the situation developed. Without going into too many specifics, it's a near certainty that any major construction project at a university will undergo a few changes along the way and, as with any large organization, those changes may or may not be communicated to all interested parties (especially when the news might not be welcomed by said parties).
It's easy to understand why there was reluctance to announce 'we're putting a large electrical room where your stacks are on the plans' (clearly, no one wants to cross a bunch of scary archivists!) and given the scale of the larger project, it is perhaps surprising something similar had not happened already. The good news is that everyone who needed to know did find out in time and while more complicated political machinations were going on behind the scenes, a happily workable solution was produced (we think!).
While the placement of the new electrical room is in direct opposition to Chapter 3 of Planning New and Remodeled Archival Facilities and so of course we still have concerns about what this means as far as fire suppression, water damage possibilities and general environmental concerns, there is good news - the loss of storage space will not be nearly as bad as we feared (despite a loss of overall square footage). In fact, it's possible that we will end up with a more usable (if slightly less aesthetically-pleasing) space as a result of being forced to think creatively about how to manage the interloper. And when all is said and done, we'll still have the entire collection in one space and largely housed in fantastic compact shelving - it's only to be expected that there will be some bumps along the road, from both internal and external sources.
Hopefully this is the last major layout concern we will face, as we really want to move on to the more important items on our moving list - like choosing paint colors for the walls and panel colors for the aforementioned compact shelving. Given that the footprint for what will be our offices finally exists (and, therefore, seems a lot more real), we are looking forward to getting those fun decisions made (and we are not at all procrastinating about the hard ones, like the logistics of actually getting all our offsite material folded into one big, happy collection).
The lessons so far can be summed up as follows: 1) remain vigilant; 2) make friends and influence people; 3) Mick and Keith were right: you just might find you get what you need!