Have you ever had the opportunity to box up every book in your school library? I did a few years ago, and I was recently asked about this process.
I was lucky enough to get new carpet in our library, but every book shelf had to be moved out of the room so that the carpet installation was possible. I removed the books from the shelves and boxed them up so that they could be stored for the summer, then placed back on the shelves before school started.
Label Your Shelves
Of course, the key is having a system. First, I labeled every single shelf in the library. In the Everybody (picture book section), I started with E1, E2, E3 and so on. I used F1, F2, F3 and so on in the fiction section, and N1, N2,N3 and so on in the Non-Fiction section. I used my label maker, but masking tape and a permanent marker would work, too.
Box Packing Labels
As I packed, two documents kept this project organized: box labels and a packing list. Box labels can be printed on different colored paper for each section of your library, so that all of the Fiction books have a yellow label (for example), and those boxes can quickly be placed in the correct section by any helpers you have (who may or may not understand the Dewey Decimal system).
You can download and save your own copy of this Google document and edit it to include your school name.
Box Packing List
I kept a list of how many boxes I’d packed and what was in each box. This would have allowed me to make an accurate claim if any of the boxes had been lost. I kept this list on a clipboard and completed it by hand as I packed boxes.
You want to have plenty of strong book boxes (all the same size), a packing tape gun, and packing paper available before you begin this project. This will help you to have neat stacks of book boxes, with every box filled with books and paper so that it can’t be crushed.
You can recycle the boxes and paper after you unpack.
Packing up your whole library takes a lot of time. I think that goes without saying. As you are spending long hours filling up those boxes, you’ll get discouraged if you have to spend time packing up books that are damaged, outdated, and too worn out to read. Start your weeding process months before you have to start packing, and you’ll be doing yourself a BIG favor!
Have you moved a library before? Please add your moving pointers in a comment!