Friday, June 9, 2017

The March of Progress Continues at Little Falls

Another week has passed by and Little Falls has continued to see a revolving door of wonderful people working to make sure that the branch is clean, updated, and fully refreshed for its reopening.

First things first, our signage process continued with a visit from Ashley from Image360. She prepared mock-ups for our new signage and picked out a color palette. It was a fun process thinking about all the library customers' needs and what signs will work best to highlight all of our offerings! Without the lights, it was a little difficult to match colors to the signs, but we got creative and persevered.

A man and a woman comparing color palettes to the Little Falls Library carpet.


Work on the lighting continued, this week as all of the light components were delivered to the library in preparation for their installation.

Stacks of lighting components in cardboard boxes.


Additionally, we had a visit from a power washer who sprayed clean the exterior of the building to free it of ivy, vines, and grime that had accumulated over time. It's a pretty major jump from before...

Grimy exterior of Little Falls Library

to after.

Power washed exterior of Little Falls Library

 And now, it is primed and ready for a fresh coat of paint which will be coming soon.

On the staff workroom side of things, our cute, new dishwasher was installed, and one of our cabinets was removed in order to be converted into more desk space.


Overall, it was a busy week here at Little Falls, and every day brings new progress and movement towards our reopening. Please keep following the blog for more updates. Thank you for your patience as we ensure that Little Falls library is refreshed and ready for you all! And, as always, thank you for supporting Montgomery County Public Libraries--where the County reads, where the County meets, where the County learns.

Patrick Fromm,
Little Falls

Friday, June 2, 2017

Preparation of the Branch for Reopening Continues . . .

The Department of General Services (DGS) continues its work on the finer details of the refresh project. Contractors removed old lighting fixtures in preparation for the installation of new ones next week.  Painters began painting the interior of the Massachusetts Avenue entrance doors.  Ceiling tile replacement is still underway. Additionally, the kitchen renovation is almost finished, and it looks lovely.

On the technology side, our ADA workstations were activated and tested out this week.

ADA workstation computer at Little Falls Library

Please continue to follow the blog, as we keep you informed about the work the Department of General Services has underway to get the branch ready for reopening.  Thank you for your dedication and support of Montgomery County Public Libraries (Where the County Reads, Where the County Meets, Where the County Learns).

Patrick Fromm,
Little Falls


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Cleaning, Shelving, and Signage, Oh My!

This past week at the Little Falls Library flew by! The team worked hard to start reshelving the collection and preparing the branch for our eagerly anticipated reopening. Before I delve into what has happened this week, I wanted to take some time to give a little more information on who I am.

I started working in libraries in high school at the Catonsville Branch of the Baltimore County Public Library. I started as a person who put books back on the shelves, and I was fairly quickly promoted to a supervisory position. From there, I worked my way up the ladder on both the circulation and librarian side of the system. I tried my hand at many different facets of the library world. I was lucky enough to find my vocation in management.

Libraries are a special place to perform that role. It's a unparalleled pleasure to work at all times to better serve our customers. Very few places I have worked exhibit the dedication to their customers that public libraries do, and I value getting to be a part of that world. So, when I became aware of the Library Manager vacancy in Montgomery County Public Libraries, I knew I could bundle all that experience I gained in Baltimore County and bring it here to Montgomery County to share and grow. 

I live in Catonsville with my wife and our month old daughter, Grace. I'm really looking forward to meeting the Little Falls community in person and to continue working to give you exceptional library service!

Now, on to the library! Our staff worked hard to start organizing and shelving the loads of materials that had been packed up or newly arrived while the branch was being refreshed. But before we could put the materials on the shelf, we had to make sure that they were dust-free and book ready. 

Empty book shelves

Once that was done, we had great help from our movers to unbox the items and line them up for evaluation and organization.

Library books on tables awaiting sorting and reshelving

Library books on tables awaiting sorting and reshelving
Finally, we began loading them onto the shelves.

Library books on shelves
We still have a lot of work ahead of us; the pictures barely do justice to just how robust our collection is. And with every shelf we fill, we cannot wait for our customers to get back in and start borrowing again!

In addition to our team's work preparing and shelving materials, we had workers on site beginning the construction on our new staff kitchen. Thanks to the Little Falls Chapter of the Friends of the Library, Montgomery County, Inc. for their generous support of this construction; it is greatly appreciated by the Little Falls Library staff!

Staff kitchen under construction
Finally, we started the process of selecting the new signs for the branch to match our new color scheme and to represent the collections that have moved.

This week's progress has really started to make the branch feel like a library again! We still have a lot of work to go, but each day brings visible proof of our march towards the grand reopening.

I hope you continue to follow the blog to keep abreast of updates and the eventual announcement of our reopening date! Thank you for your patience as we continue to refresh the branch for your enjoyment, and thank you for your continued support of Montgomery County Public Libraries (Where the County Reads, Where the County Meets, Where the County Learns).

Patrick Fromm,
Little Falls

Little Falls branch manager Patrick Fromm

Friday, May 19, 2017

Mountains of Books at the Little Falls Branch

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Patrick Fromm, and I have the absolute pleasure of being the new Little Falls Branch Manager. I'm so excited to meet all of you and to see all that the Little Falls area has to offer! But before that happens, we have to ensure that your collection is shelved, ordered, and ready to be paired with its reader, listener, or viewer on our opening day, which I promise is coming soon! 

Moving truck in the Little Falls Library parking lotHuge thanks to the Moving Services Unit for making arrangements for a team of movers on Thursday to bring in pallet after pallet of materials on a hot day. The Moving Services Unit is part of our wonderful Montgomery County Department of General Services, Division of Facilities Management. The Little Falls staff really appreciates their hard work getting our items to the right areas of the building. It was exciting to see so much of the collection returning to the branch. After all, a big part of a library is its diverse collection, and our shelves are crying out to be filled. I know we will all be happy when the books, movies, CDs, and other items are in their rightful home. 

Until then, however, we have mountains of boxes to go through. 
Boxes of books piled up in the Little Falls Library

The good news is that our whole staff will be reporting to the building next week so that we can get to work on returning everything to the shelves and straightening up the building. 

On the building front, repairs and upgrades continue as we prepare the branch for its reopening. We thank you for your continued patience while we ensure that everything is polished and refreshed for our returning visitors. 

Some of our programming is still ongoing while we are closed. The Little Falls Adult Book Discussion Group, known as the Literary Salon, will meet at the Chevy Chase Library on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, at 11:00 PM to discuss the book, Bread Givers, by Anzia Yezierska. This will be the third, and final discussion for the spring 2017 series of the Literary Salon, entitled “Immigrants and Refugees.” Copies may still be available for borrowing at the Chevy Chase branch.

The Little Falls English Conversation Club continues to meet at the Fourth Presbyterian Church, 5500 River Road, Bethesda, MD, 20816, on Fridays, from 10:15 AM - 12:00 PM.

Please continue to follow our blog for regular updates! I look forward to meeting you all in person and welcoming you to your new, refreshed Little Falls Library.

Patrick Fromm,
Little Falls




Friday, May 12, 2017

Little Falls Library Refresh, ... and the doors will be opening on, ...

Little Falls Library Refresh, ... when will those doors be opening ...

exterior of Little Falls building
To all our customers, friends, well-wishers, stakeholders, and yes, our children who are anxious to get into that wonderful, delightful, sometimes magical, always enchanting place we call our library, I am just as excited as you are for an opening day, a question which is on the lips of all with whom I am in contact daily. I beg of you just a wee bit more of your patience.

Good things are happening, and the welcoming light—opening day—is at the end of the tunnel.

The Little Falls staff, who are functioning at the other libraries in the area, have been notified about a date for their return to the Little Falls Library. Now that most of the structural related aspects of the refresh have been completed (with just a few remaining items), staff is needed within the building to prepare for the re-opening. Although the library has been closed for the refresh, the purchase of new materials for the library’s collection has been on-going, so that a wealth of new materials will be awaiting your return. All these will have to shelved before the doors are opened to welcome back our customers. Additionally, the materials which have been transported out of the branch to the warehouse for storage, will be returning.

empty shelving units

And the work continues towards re-opening. You will be informed, as soon as we get into the countdown towards the sentence, “the doors will be opening on …"

Some of our library programs are continuing at other locations, and we are indeed aware of the anxiety of all to return to home base. We again beg for a wee bit of your patience.

The Little Falls Adult Book Discussion Group, known as the Literary Salon, will meet at the Chevy Chase Library on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, at 11:00 PM to discuss the book, Bread Givers, by Anzia Yezierska. This will be the third, and final discussion for the spring 2017 series of the Literary Salon, entitled “Immigrants and Refugees.” Copies may still be available for borrowing at the Chevy Chase branch.

The Little Falls English Conversation Club continues to meet at the Fourth Presbyterian Church, 5500 River Road, Bethesda, MD, 20816, on Fridays, from 10:15 AM - 12:00 PM.

Check back soon for more news about the refresh activity. And continue to follow our blog! More to come!

Ken Lewis
Little Falls












Friday, May 5, 2017

Little Falls...Getting Closer to the End!

Every week brings us closer to the return of the Little Falls staff to the branch and the subsequent internal preparation of the branch for reopening. The refresh work at the branch goes on. The laying of carpet in areas which were previously omitted is finished throughout the building. Furniture for both the upper and lower levels is still arriving.  Miscellaneous “to do” items which are brought to the contractor’s attention are being attended to expeditiously.

The previous stage of the roof replacement work, (see our post from April 7, 2017, "Little Falls, Construction and Refresh Updates") showed the installation of the guttering and the downspouts around the building. That work having been done, the final stage of the roof replacement work, the installation of the roof shingles on the roof surface, is now underway. This work and the installation of the light fixtures around the eaves of the building, when done, will bring the major exterior refresh related work to completion. We are indeed getting closer to the end.

Don’t forget the programming which the branch offers. The Little Falls adult book discussion group, known as the Literary Salon, will meet at the Chevy Chase Library on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, at 12:00 PM to discuss the book, Bread Givers, by Anzia Yezierska. This will be the third, and final discussion for the spring 2017 series of the Literary Salon, entitled “Immigrants and Refugees.” Copies may still be available for borrowing at the Chevy Chase branch.

The Little Falls Conversation Club continues to meet at the Fourth Presbyterian Church, 5500 River Road, Bethesda, MD, 20816, on Fridays, from 10:15 AM - 12:00 PM.

Check back soon for more news about the refresh activity. And continue to follow our blog! More to come!

Ken Lewis
Little Falls

Friday, April 28, 2017

Things Are Shaping Up!

Refreshed Little Falls children's areaContinuing on the “heels” of our blog from last week, the tremendous push by the children’s staff to clean and reshelve the collection, boxed after the water pipe break, has enabled us to provide the needed space for the new incoming furniture and shelving.  Now beginning to take shape in the recently liberated space is our new children’s room with attractive, pleasing, and colorful pieces of furniture and new shelving.  The result is a quantum leap forward from what was there originally.

Refreshed Little Falls children's area
As the furniture and all the other pieces destined for that area continue to arrive, we will continue to keep you informed.

Also occurring during the past week, the finishing material for the roof has arrived and is sitting as “sentinels” on the roof, patiently guarding the positions where they will be placed when the crews working on the roof resume their job of laying down the material.

Exterior of Little Falls Library with construction material on the roof
As the work on the library continues towards completion, those library programs which are held at other locations are continuing. The Little Falls adult book discussion group, known as the Literary Salon, will meet at the Chevy Chase Library on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, at 12:00 PM to discuss the book, Bread Givers, by Anzia Yezierska. This will be the third, and final discussion for the spring 2017 series of the Literary Salon, entitled “Immigrants and Refugees.” Copies may still be available for borrowing at the Chevy Chase branch.

The Little Falls Conversation Club continues to meet at the Fourth Presbyterian Church, 5500 River Road, Bethesda, MD, 20816, on Fridays, from 10:15 AM - 12:00 PM.

Check back soon for more news about the refresh activity. And continue to follow our blog! More to come!

Ken Lewis
Little Falls












Friday, April 21, 2017

Wiring, Cabling, Data Drops and Books

The Little Falls heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
Little Falls HVAC
Being an “up-front” witness to the construction/refresh process has had its moments of awe and appreciation as the workmen and technicians went about their respective duties in executing the work, which is required to wire the building for electrical power, and to pull the necessary cabling, which is essential for the transmission of data throughout the building.  County staff have been busy installing the network grid as well as internet data jacks for the public computers.  And, at the end of it all,  you, our customers, will be able to enjoy the most up to date technologies when Little Falls reopens.

County staff and contractors are also on the job wiring the new, recently installed heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.  They are busy making the necessary connections so that its operations can be controlled and monitored from a central Montgomery County location for both efficiency and function.      
                                                                         
Children's Room - Before
At the same time as the wiring activities have been occurring, the children’s librarians have been working diligently in the Children’s Room on the lower level, tackling the momentous task of restoring the area to its “pre-flood damaged state.” This undertaking involved the unpacking of a total of approximately 720 boxes, cleaning the books, and re-shelving them in their appropriate locations within the children's area. 

I am delighted to report that we have succeeded in attaining our objective, as can be seen by the "before" and "after" pictures .  Kudos go out to this team of dedicated workers for the team spirit which they demonstrated during this undertaking. The preparation of this area sets the stage for the installation of the new furniture, shelving, chairs, and tables which will be coming to the Children's Room soon. We are excited about the end result and look forward to your seeing it at our re-opening.
Children's Room - After

As always there is more to come. Keep reading our blog!





Friday, April 14, 2017

Little Falls Library, ... please be seated!

Little Falls furniture - table
Little Falls Library, ... please be seated!

Furniture for the library is slowly beginning to arrive,

On the upper level at the western end of the building where the fiction collection is located, there are three new comfortable lounge chairs.  They are located just underneath the large window and give a fantastic view of the library grounds and surrounding area. This has been a preferred seating area for many of our customers in the past, and we expect it to continue to be a popular place with the comfortable new furniture.

Arcadia chairs
In the same area, one will find seating and access to additional computers which will accommodate the increased flow of traffic as a result of more customers using the building.                                                    

Across from the new service desk area, there will also be lounge chairs, which will allow for sitting and reading in a comfortable atmosphere.

One of our end goals for the refresh was the creation of a Teen Space, which will delight the teens who visit the library. We are fortunate to have a dynamic Young Adult librarian who is working diligently to provide the teens in the community with the programming and materials which fall within their areas of interest. Add a welcoming and teen related ambiance, and we are hoping to see our efforts bear fruit.                                                    

Little Falls teen area furniture
Teen Space
Our Quiet Room has been given more functional space with the removal of the large wooden carrels, and our customers are now able to observe the library grounds through the large window on the eastern side. This room has also acquired some comfortable furniture, with tables for laptop usage in the middle. This location will also house our magazines and newspapers.  I am just as excited about the sitting area on the western end of the building, as I am about this area on the eastern side. Each has its charms and inducements. And although I have shared my thoughts with you about the wonderful, colorful, comfortable furniture, we will keep the furniture “under wraps” until our opening day.


Quiet Room chairs and tables
Quiet Room



Check back soon for more news about the refresh activity.

Ken Lewis
Little Falls Library

Friday, April 7, 2017

Little Falls Construction and Refresh Updates, Keeping You Informed!

Construction activity related to the refresh continues to be the topic of conversation for our blog this week. The crew working on the roof are at the stage where they are now adding the fascia to the sides of the roof overhang, and they are also installing the gutters and the downspouts around the building. These are essential to channel the water runoff from the roof away from the building.


The parking spaces in the branch parking lot have been re-striped, and those reserved for “accessible” parking are now clearly visible, since the international symbol of accessibility is now painted in the middle of each space.

New furniture for the branch is beginning to arrive. The first seating to be delivered was the Arcadia lounge chairs for the main library area, just across from the combined circulation and information desk.  In the coming days and weeks, all the remaining pieces of furniture will be received and placed in their respective areas. We will provide a “sneak peek” preview of what awaits you, our customers,when all the furniture is in place.  The staff workroom is also a location where new furniture is being placed.

The combined circulation and information desk is presently being assembled. Additional details will be provided when it is fully assembled and the equipment positioned.

Please remember that the Little Falls Literary Salon will meet at the Chevy Chase branch on Wednesday April 26, 2017, 11:00 am–12:30 pm to discuss the book, When the Moon Is Low, by Nadia Hashimi. This will be the Literary Salon’s second adult book discussion for the 2017 spring series, entitled “Immigrants and Refugees.” Copies may still be available for borrowing at the Chevy Chase branch.

The Little Falls Conversation Club continues to meet at the Fourth Presbyterian Church, 5500 River Road, Bethesda, Md, 20816, on Fridays, from 10:15 a.m. – 12:00 noon.

Check back soon for more news about the refresh activity.

Ken Lewis
Little Falls Library








Friday, March 31, 2017

This Week at Little Falls, Inching Forward

Concrete apron at Little Falls LibraryA review of the work done at the Little Falls Library over the past week reveals that a concrete apron around the north-eastern side of the library has been installed, thereby giving a finished look to that section of the library and the parking lot area. If you do a quick review of the last three blogs, you will find a description of  the “then and now” of that area.  Next week the entire parking lot will be repaved and restriped, completing the exterior work required as a result of the water pipe break in December.

Repairing the underlay of the roof at Little Falls LibraryWork on the roof continues as the crew replaces the entire underlay portion of the roof around the building. This work should eliminate the "cascading downpours" that previously came from various roof areas around the building.

On the inside, throughout the building, the electricians are continuing the installation of power and data drops. This is necessary because there has been some reconfiguration of areas within the library as a part of the refresh project. One example of this is the addition of a signage monitor at the new circulation/information desk, which, through its display, will inform customers of all the programs which will be available at the Little Falls Library within a selected timeframe.                                  
New data drops at Little Falls Library

On the lower level, on the floor area which extends from the bottom of the stairs to the exit doors leading to Massachusetts Ave, work is underway to replace the tiles which were damaged by the flood. That tile design ties into the pattern already used in the meeting room and the children’s area. And, the work continues, …

Check back soon for more news about the refresh activity.





Ken Lewis
Little Falls Library


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Moving On, What’s Going On! … Little Falls Library

This week we are again returning our focus to the construction areas we discussed last week, since these remain the activity points of the refresh, and are crucial to completion, and, most certainly, the re-opening of the library.

Bulldozer and ditch
In December 2016, after the water pipe break, the area just outside our front entrance represented our greatest challenge.

Over the intervening months our Department of General Services has made considerable progress, so that in looking at that area now, I call this a “beautiful” picture, almost “made whole again.” As it stands, we are awaiting the setting/paving of the curb wall, and the repaving of the walkway from the front entrance to the parking lot. With that completed, our front facade will be restored.

Water main trench and lower level windows
To the right of the building, on the western side, the presence of the earth compacting equipment suggests the almost final earthworks restoration activity. The deep trench through which the 4 ins water main stretches, has been completely refilled, compacted, and awaits some landscaping activity. This area will also, very soon, be the site for a stormwater management project, overseen by the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection. This project has been in planning since 2014, and is now in the final design and permit stages, with work to begin in the next two weeks. This project will enhance even further our Massachusetts Avenue visual landscaping.

Roller landscape compactorOn the inside of the building on the lower level, the toilet bowl fixtures which awaited the plumbers’ attention, have not only made it successfully to their final stations, but are now almost ready to be of service to all. The picture of the almost finished bathrooms provides proof of this step towards completion.

Restroom stallsThere are other bits and pieces remaining in the work specified for the refresh project, as well as the  completion of the installation of the HVAC system.

More to come, and we will continue to keep you informed, as it unfolds.

Toilets













Ken Lewis
Little Falls Library



Monday, March 20, 2017

Little Falls, Moving Forward, ... or Week in Review

Little Falls, moving forward. our week in review.

Just as we were picking up momentum with all the work scheduled to be done on the outside of the building during the past week, Tuesday's unexpected snowfall brought the exterior repairs to a brief halt. Temporary, yes! And the work is once again proceeding!

Crews have installed huge metal plates at the front of the building just outside the front entrance.
This is  part of the repair work to the replaced 4 inch water main pipe which enters the building at this point.

Big metal plates


On the inside the building, the children’s area, which was flooded, has been cleared of all the boxes which we temporarily stored there, and it is now being carpeted. A peek at this activity gives us this image, an area which has bright “alive” colors which are attractive, and add vigor and vitality to the surroundings.


Carpet in Little Falls children's area


It is truly a children’s center, soon to be transformed into a “place of wonder.”

Work continues on the bathrooms, and the fixtures are all lined up awaiting the plumber and installation.

Toilets ready for installation


Upstairs, on our entry level from the parking lot, through the staff entrance, storage has been added to the staff workroom area, with staff furniture scheduled to arrive in the near future.  We are moving along.


Shelving in the Little Falls staff area


As to program events from the Little Falls Library, even though we are closed, please remember that the Little Falls Literary Salon will meet at the Chevy Chase branch on Wednesday April 14, 2017, 11:00 am–12:30 pm to discuss the book, When the Moon is Low, by Nadia Hashimi. This will be the Literary Salon’s second adult book discussion for the 2017 spring series session, entitled Immigrants and Refugees. 

Copies may still be available for borrowing at the Chevy Chase branch.

Check back soon for more news about the refresh activity.


Ken Lewis
Little Falls Library




Friday, March 10, 2017

Little Falls, ... and the work continues.

In our last blog post to you, dated March 6, 2017, we mentioned that we are almost back on track and are working diligently towards the completion of the work and the much-awaited reopening of the library.

We are indeed happy to share with you some communication which the Public Libraries received from Mr. David Dise, Director of General Services, Montgomery County Government. Director Dise’s communication states:
Repairs of flood damage due to a water main break are complete. The contractor performing the library refresh resumed work on February 27th. Reconstructing work performed before the damage and finishing the remaining work will take an estimated six weeks.  At the same time, mechanical and electrical contractors will repair/replace equipment severely damaged by the flooding. Library staff will return in April 2017 to ready the library for reopening.  The projected reopening of the Little Falls Library is in May 2017.  The County apologizes for the inconvenience and will reopen the library as soon as possible.

The trench that was excavated along the eastern side of the building to access the 4 inch water pipe for replacement, is being refilled.
trench in dirt

Within the building, specifically on the lower level, flood damaged walls have been removed, replaced, and repainted.
wall with lower half painted and top half showing mural

The meeting room on the lower level, which serves as the place to meet for the community and as our central location for all of the library's program activities, has been painted, and the floor is presently being covered with an attractive mix of floor tiling. Expect more in a future blog about the meeting room space.
floor covered in orange tile

floor with tiling laid out

On the upper level the laying of the carpet is almost complete, with the crew working on the area in which both the information and circulation desks will be located.
portion of floor with outer part carpeted and inner part with green subflooring

As to program events from the Little Falls Library, even though we are closed, please remember that the Little Falls Literary Salon will meet at the Chevy Chase branch on Wednesday, March 15, 11:00 am–12:30 pm to discuss the book, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz. This will be the Literary Salon’s first Adult Book Discussion for the Spring session for 2017. Copies may still be available for borrowing at the Chevy Chase branch.

Check back soon for more news about the refresh activity.

Ken Lewis
Little Falls Library

Monday, March 6, 2017

We are Working Towards It!

As we mentioned in our last blogpost, we are almost back on track, and are working diligently towards the completion of the work, and the much-awaited reopening of the library.

One of the key elements in our facility is the heating and air-conditioning system, which was virtually demolished by the flooding event that took place. This system is being replaced on an ongoing basis, with work proceeding one piece at a time, be it a boiler unit or metal ducting for the flow of warm or cold air throughout the building. With the addition and installation of a totally new water cooling tower on the eastern end of the building, the library promises to be a "cool place" to be this summer.

Construction activity has also resumed on the first floor with the focus being placed on getting the carpeting finished.

The workmen are again back on the roof, working towards its completion. The covering phase utilizing roof shingles should take about a month.


Don’t forget that the Little Falls Literary Salon will meet at the Chevy Chase branch on Wednesday, March 15, 11:00 am–12:30 pm to discuss the book, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz. This will be the Literary Salon’s first Adult Book Discussion for the Spring session for 2017. Copies may still be available for borrowing at the Chevy Chase branch.

Check back soon for more news about the refresh activity.