This month one of our major libraries lift is being upgraded. This should be a time of great jubilation and celebration for the lending staff, as the lift is about 15 years old, struggles to level out at floors [for non circ people getting trolleys over the bump is painful], and in an inverse reaction to the TARDIS takes about 20 years to go up 2 floors.
However …. this upgrade is going to take 3 months. It’s happening during 2 active months of 2nd Sem. The returns desk is on Level 3. The books live on shelves on Level 5. There are no other lifts in the building. There’s already been a few manual handling issues at this branch for loans staff.
So I’ve been enjoying troubleshooting with my colleagues solutions for over a month. Unfortunately I cannot say that we will be instilling any of the fun options.
- Apparently there’s not enough time to give this to our Engineering 3rd year students as a real life work problem that needs a mechanical solution created.
- Building our own weight loaded balance solution (giant set of scales in the stair well with 2 empty buckets either side, that swing upstairs as people load up books on each floor ) is labelled a Health & Safety hazard by some visionless qualified ergonomists.
- The giant slippy slide made with cheap black plastic down the stairwell only works for bringing books downstairs not upstairs. Pulling them up tied on string is a bit labour intensive.
- Asking all students to return their items to the floor they borrowed from (self check in) was viable and is going to be an option, however can only be a backup as we can’t set up the technology to refuse items not housed on particular floors. Over engineered towards customer service, that’s the sort of self service technology we buy!
- Moving all the items down to the entry floor was foiled not through lack of space, more by the fact we only had it refurbished as a student space 5 months ago and after a year of no access the students actually deserve to use it for at least a little bit longer. [Why you ask didn’t we have the lift refurbished during the same time, well apparently our Property services section could explain that, they just won’t].
So … da da da … the final solution is whacking up some temporary shelving for returned items on the entrance level, then paying furniture movers to carry them up 2 floors at the end of each week!