Leave it to an academic institution to help out a library. When the Springfield-Greene County Library district was looking for help in staging its massive annual Friends of the Library book sale, one volunteer turned to her former employer, Ozarks Technical Community College, for help.
In 2015, the former Remington’s building in south Springfield hosted the Book Sale, but that building was being sold, and the library had to find a new home for its thousands of books. “We were mildly panicked,” said Dr. Shirley Lawler, a library volunteer.
The Library secured the E-Plex for the 2016 Book Sale, but the Library needed some help with signage, and volunteers were unsure how to efficiently fit all of those books and tables in the massive 38,000-square foot-space.
Dr. Lawler, OTC’s retired provost, turned to OTC for help. Drafting and design technology instructor Rene Wade met with a volunteer at the E-Plex one afternoon and spent 90 minutes measuring the space.
“We had a few basic drawings to work off of, but they didn’t take into account columns or sprinkler risers,” Wade said. “After we made the measurements, it took me about a day to develop a detailed drawing that indicated locations of all of the tables and aisle widths.”
That meeting took care of the space, but the Library volunteers needed signage to tell book browsers if they were looking at cookbooks or murder mysteries. Justin Frese’s construction maintenance students rose to the challenge and made more than 100 wooden sign holders.
“It was a great learning experience for my students. They learned how to work with a client, develop a drawing, and they also learned about mass production,” Frese said. “It’s one thing to make one of something, but it’s a much bigger deal to make 100-plus.”
According to Carol Grimes, the Friends of the Library president, the collaboration with OTC was invaluable, “The support from OTC is deeply appreciated. Having an educational institution that is willing to share resources with fellow community organizations is a great asset.”
Now, when a book lover browses the titles at the Friends of the Library Book Sale at the E-Plex this weekend, they’ll have OTC to thank for those wide aisles and clearly labeled tables of books.