5 top tips for making a library move or refurbishment

Whether you are refurbishing your library or relocating to new premises, a library move is a challenging undertaking and probably not something that you have to plan for or carry out many times in your career.

Our five top tips will help ensure the success of your relocation or refurbishment, and help you overcome the challenges of delivering your project quickly and cost effectively whilst ensuring the best outcome.


Plan ahead of your library change

The earlier you can start planning the better – whether that’s for a major relocation project or a minor refurbishment. Planning on some of our biggest relocations starts several years prior to the move – you might be surprised by what gets raised in pre-move planning meetings. Challenges highlighted at this early stage are generally easier to overcome than those raised in the run up to or early days of the project.

One of the first considerations at this stage is the scope of the job. What needs moved? Do you need temporary or long term storage space? Are you integrating or expanding collections? Do you have critical timescales for example completion during holidays? Do you need to continue day-to-day operations during the relocation or refurbishment project?


Use an expert library removal company

Your library relocation or refurbishment project is unique but experience can make the difference between a major headache and a smooth running project.

A specialist library relocation company will provide you with a dedicated library project manager and a relocation team experienced in moving libraries. They will understand and respect your library systems whether it’s Dewey, Library of Congress or Binary. They will be experienced in sequential packing and integration and provide the right equipment and vehicles to protect your collections from start to finish. It doesn’t have to cost the earth – in fact it could be more costly not to use an expert!

We recommend you appoint your chosen contractor early on – get them involved in the planning process and make the most of their expertise and knowledge.


Save money and the environment with sustainable library moves

Starting to plan your relocation or refurbishment project early gives you time to consider the potential environmental and social impacts of your activities – something which often gets dropped from the agenda if lost in last minute preparations. This isn’t just a ‘nice to have’ – it can also save you serious money.

If your requirements are changing, it can be quicker and less costly to remodel shelving and racking rather than buying new. Have you considered remanufacturing or refurbishing existing furniture to meet new requirements? Or even buying reused? You could get high quality brands at a fraction of the price of new and your visitors are unlikely to even spot the difference!

If you are refurbishing your library, there may be the opportunity to reuse floor and ceiling tiles. Whether you are moving to a new library or refurbishing your existing library, there may be the opportunity to convert to LED lighting to not only reduce your energy consumption but to also save on lighting costs.

You may be taking the opportunity to review your collections if relocating or refurbishing. Is there potential to recycle unwanted library books? This not only saves you money on disposal costs but could also mean a rebate depending on the market value of your collections. Alternatively, you might be able to donate your unwanted collections, furniture and equipment to help others in need.


Clearly communicate your library move

It may seem obvious but who needs to know about your refurbishment or move? Have you considered consulting with staff and customers on your plans? Will your library continue to be accessible during your project? It’s surprising how often communication is overlooked with all the other demands from a relocation or refurbishment. As well as telling people about the practicalities of the project, this is a great opportunity to be able to share the benefits with those that it affects most.

Your contractor should be able to tell you about all the savings you have made from taking sustainability into account – the money you have saved, the people you have helped, the carbon footprint you have saved. What a great message to share with your staff and visitors!


Is it a good time for extra library management services?

Finally, a relocation or refurbishment is a great opportunity for collection and shelf cleaning, repairs to furniture and equipment, or clearing out old stock. Speak to your contractor about what else they can help you with to make the most of your project and improve the library experience for your staff and visitors.


How Premier Libraries can help

Premier Libraries has a dedicated library team with unrivalled experience in moving national, public, university, colleges, schools and specialist libraries. Whether you require support to relocate your collections or journals to a new building or are simply refreshing your existing library environment; Premier Libraries has the expertise, resources and professional working methodologies to successfully support you.

Our services not only include library relocations and clearances but also collection cleaning and preservation, interior refurbishment, shelf and furniture remanufacturing and repair, and provision of quality used furniture and IT equipment.


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Planning a library move? Your guide to a successful library relocation