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Shaw Historical Library Reopens After $80,000 Renovation

Dec 01, 2009
The Shaw Historical Library at Oregon Institute of Technology has fully reopened following renovation work that cost more than $80,000.

The Shaw Historical Library at Oregon Institute of Technology has fully reopened following renovation work that cost more than $80,000. The much-needed work guarantees the Shaw's collection of rare and historic books, maps, photographs and other media will be preserved for future generations of students, library users and researchers.

An open house of the renovated facility, which also includes expanded space for library users and volunteers, will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 8 at the Shaw, which is located on the second floor of the OIT Library-Learning Resources Center.

Following is a fact sheet outlining more detailed information about the improvements:
Renovation purposes

1. Replacement of the climate control system to continue providing the appropriate preservation environment for the library's rare and historic materials. Because the library holds books, maps, photographs and artwork the resulting environment is kept at 70 degrees, 40-percent humidity with ultra violet filtered lighting.

2. Expansion and reconfiguration of the library's collection storage areas to allow for growth.
Results
• Continued controlled environment (temp., humidity & light) for preservation of library's collections.
• Expanded and reconfigured collection storage areas with new shelving and flat file cases. Room for collections to grow. Improved accessibility of collections.
• Doubled work space for users of the library.
• Expanded work areas for library volunteers. The expanded volunteer work space is especially welcome because this spring the Shaw starts a year-long project to involve residents in preserving our region's twentieth century history.
• New computer wiring means that more computers are available for use by users and volunteers.

Provost Brad Burda said, "The Shaw Historical Library provides a valuable connection between OIT and the Klamath community. I'm pleased that this renovation will continue to preserve its valuable materials so that both students and community members will be able to use them."

Process
The library rooms' ceilings had to be removed to reconfiguring duct work and expand the climate control system coverage area. To protect the collections, 1,600 square feet of books, artworks, photographs, documents, furniture, etc. were packed away and stored. Finding appropriate storage areas took some extra effort too since they had to be secure and have air conditioning/heat as needed. Storage in shipping containers was not possible! Packing and moving took most of a month with volunteers and staff packing books into boxes and wrapping fragile materials in acid-free paper. Construction work was done by HSW Builders and subcontractors. Moving the collections back in is almost complete. Anne Hiller Clark, Shaw Librarian, said, "The end result is certainly worth all of the disruptions. We now have an expanded facility with a preservation environment that continues to meet archival standards. I look forward to working with patrons again."

One of the annual events delayed by the renovations was the publication of the latest issue of the Journal of the Shaw Historical Library. Hiller Clark said, "Look for the new issue in the spring. It will focus on the Modoc War and the Lava Beds region."

Next Steps
Operating the library is an expensive effort. Support comes from an endowment set up by Laurence and Dorothy Shaw, his son Tom and Modoc Lumber; OIT; grants; publication sales and donations. Like other non-profits, the library's income is down, while expenses continue to rise. The library will be conducting a year-end fund raising campaign during December.
Please contact Shaw Librarian Anne Hiller Clark at (541) 885-1686 for more information.

 

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