AUGUST 31, 2022

New school projects ... they truly take a village!


During a record-breaking heat wave in Waco, Texas, last month, Andy Jensen and I spent four days working with two districts to shelve a new school and on several very large library refresh orders.

We took several photos and thought sharing the step-by-step process of the shelving would be interesting for those who haven’t had an opportunity to see one in person.

The days started with the truck delivery and bringing in the pallets. There were between 10 and 14 pallets, each containing 24 boxes, delivered to each of the sites we worked with. The pallets were positioned in a location each site felt would be most beneficial and provide the best access to the library for our shelving team.

We supply shelf markers to the sites (these show the Dewey information and how many books will be in the numbered box that matches the shelf marker number). As needed, we support the librarian to determine the layout of the library and laying out the shelf markers.

Once we’ve placed all of the boxes in front of the appropriate shelf, the fun part begins! When our specially designed boxes are opened, there’s a packing slip for the contents of that box. Pull out the packing paper, and the books are all packed in true Dewey order, spine up, in the exact order they’ll go on the shelf.

The process generally moves fairly quickly at this point (though it’s very easy to get distracted by all of the wonderful new books we shipped), and the shelves that were empty a couple of hours previously are now filled!

We’re showing you the end result, but before that is where the village comes in. 

It all begins months in advance, when our sales consultants begin working with the district when they uncover a new school (or remodel, renovation, replacement, or disaster situation). Bids and Proposals provides support in working on the needed submittal. Our Curation team will create a unique collection tailored specifically to that customer’s needs. When we’re awarded the contract, one of our NSLO (New School Large Order) team members gets involved and guides the internal process. Once the order is released to the service center, the order will be processed with all of the labeling requested by the district, and it is packed in True Dewey order.  Out the door it goes, with our logistics teams ensuring that we’re meeting delivery deadlines and that we have temporary teams to support the shelving process if needed.

So far this year, we’ve shipped 133 new school and replacement, renovation, remodels, and disaster orders totaling more than 870,000 books. That’s a lot of work by our village of team members!

At the very end of the day, all of the empty boxes and packing paper are ready for pickup, and we have very happy librarians and teachers (and soon students when the sites open).  Every one of us should be proud of what we do, the impact our work will have for the hundreds of school collections we’re privileged to supply each year, and the books we helped place in the hands of students.

Kathy Paur

Kathy Paur is the vice president of content sales and has been with Follett for over 40 years working directly with librarians, administrators, teachers, and school districts to support them in meeting their specific goals.

Andy Jensen

Andy Jensen is a regional sales director covering the Southwest region and has been with Follett over 15 years helping librarians, administrators, and teachers find the right content to meet their unique needs.

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