Volunteers needed for Falmouth library move to Mason-Motz

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FALMOUTH — Later this summer the Falmouth Memorial Library will need significant help as it boxes up its nearly 60,000-item collection, as well as furnishings and shelving in preparation for its temporary move to the Mason-Motz Activity Center on Middle Road.

The library must pack up and move out because the long-awaited, $5.6 million renovation and expansion project is slated to get underway in early fall.

Although a timeline has not yet been finalized, Library Director Andi Jackson-Darling said a crew of about 20 volunteers working over a period of several days would be needed for the move.

The hope is for the library to be open for business at Mason-Motz sometime this fall. There are a variety of tasks, that require volunteer labor, including the assembly of moving boxes, the organization of books and library materials and the dismantling of library fixtures.

When construction is complete, the library will almost double in size to more than 18,800 square feet of space, up from 10,800 square feet. The upgrade will include a separate youth services wing, new seating areas, a separate reading room and increased access to computers and other technology, along with other innovations.

Jackson-Darling has said the library, located at 5 Lunt Road, would be closed for the entire expected 12-month construction period.

Because the space at Mason-Motz will be limited, Jackson-Darling said this week that the library will only be able to move about 30 percent of its collection. The remaining 70 percent would be stored offsite, along with any furniture and equipment not needed at the temporary location.

“We hope to take at least 50 percent of the audio/DVD collection, since these items are typically thinner and can be more compactly shelved. We (will also) have access to 14,850 titles in digital content that will all remain available through our website. (And), we will continue to provide inter-library loan services and to purchase new titles,” she said.

In terms of the volunteers needed to help with the move, Jackson-Darling said, “We are looking for (hours-long) commitments for as many days as someone is available to help. Packing will be done in teams of two and training will be provided.”

While space constraints will be an issue, she said that during the time the library is located at Mason-Motz, “we anticipate continuing most of our regular programming, although we may not have the ability to hold them at the same time and frequency we do now.”

In addition, Jackson-Darling said some programs would have to be held at other locations, but at the same time she called the space issue “a great opportunity to get creative.”

She said the actual moving date would depend on finalizing the construction plan, including Maine Department of Environmental Protection approvals and when architects wrap up the design and engineering details.

This story has been updated to correct the library’s hoped for re-opening date.

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or kcollins@theforecaster.net. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KIrishCollins.

When the Falmouth Memorial Library moves to the Mason-Motz Activity Center later this summer a crew of about 20 volunteers will be needed to pack up the collection containing nearly 60,000-items.