The floor with weights all over it is the floor of the lift in the new (temporary) Marylebone Library and Information Service.
The lift is being tested to make sure that it’s safe to take readers and staff between the three floors the library will occupy. Yes, you’re right – it is a bit surprising to discover that the testing is not all hi-tech, and that a good, traditional method is still in use. All rather reassuring.
In the new children’s library, it looks as though a green space rocket has landed, with its nose-cone thrusting through the ceiling.
What it really is will be revealed later…
So what happens next? Once the doors of the existing library close for ever, at 5.00pm on Sunday 11 August (yes, that soon!) all the books will come off the shelves and into crates. The computers will be boxed, and the furniture will be dismantled. All the other essential items (stationery… computer accessories… tea bags…) will be packed ready for the removal team.
This crack squad has already moved the reserve stock to Victoria and Charing Cross libraries so they are fit and ready for the main event. Between the first day of closure – Monday 12 August – and the day of the reopening on Wednesday 28 August, all of the above (and lots of other items I haven’t mentioned) will be packed, moved, unpacked, placed in position, moved a bit because they don’t look quite right, moved again because they’re blocking the fire exit… you get the picture.
It’s a big job, but most of us have done it before. So, all being well, just one ingredient will be essential to complete the picture on the 28th – YOU! I hope you don’t mind being called an ingredient, and I hope you are pleased to be called essential. It’s true.
Reminder: Marylebone Library will close at its present location at 5.00pm on Sunday 11 August, and reopen at Macintosh House, Beaumont Street, on Wednesday 28 August.