So here we are at the final ten percent of 2017: the weeks that are designed to be filled with fun and fantasy (and frantic frenzy). The human year is coming to all kinds of religious and folk festivals, primarily intended to defy the threat of darkness and winter by flaunting light and generosity. The business year is coming to a terminal point, planning end of year profits or end of year donations so the balance sheet and the tax form will all be presentable. The Book Fair yearend involves bracing for all those holiday and end-of-year donations, and the Newberry as a whole is bracing for the Grand Renovation to begin in earnest.
What you need to know is that we have our plans in place, but are expecting unexpected twists. Speaking mainly for the Book Fair, but also a little for the whole institution, I need to ask you for patience while we work our way into this period of extra special frenzy and fantasy.
We do not know for sure, at this point, where you can drop off big loads of donations. Small donations, as usual, will be accepted at the security kiosk in the lobby. You may have to make your way past some barriers and temporary walls, but there will be a way into the building. The bigger loads will go somewhere at the east end of the building, but we haven’t decided yet EXACTLY where this will be. The same goes for our pickup volunteers: we’re bringing in some new ones, but we’re not sure where they’ll deliver, so there may be extra delays while we get things nailed down. We DO still want your donations.
As to the Book Fair, every sign is that it will be held at the same bookfair time and on the same bookfair channel. Last Weekend of July, First Floor of the Newberry: that’s where we hope you’ll be buying books in 2018. The layout will be different, but we are beginning to map out how things will be arranged. Room 6, we have decided, is going to be Room 6: the walls of that are not being moved, and we should be able to put a lot of the books where you found them last year and the year before. (In fact, we’ve decided to call it Room 6 even if we wind up having only five rooms…which we haven’t decided for sure yet.)
For the rest, Room 3 may well be in the new Room 1, and Room 5 in the new Room 3, and…we’ll be in touch about that. We’ve even decided, kind of, where check-out will be. So far, none of this involves renting tents and taking over the parking lot (which we feel would involve at least six people dropping from the heat every day) nor renting out space in the Moody Bible institute gymnasium.
To address a couple of other rumors, NO, we will not be charging an admission fee to pay for the renovation, NO, we will not be forcing you to walk through the A.C. (Artistically Constructed) McClurg Bookstore to check out (the bookstore will probably not yet be open at that point), NO, you will not be expected to walk through a tutelary exhibit before you can look at books (the galleries are opening about the same time as the bookstore: after the Book Fair), and NO, we are not be doubling all our prices.
And no, I am not hiding any secrets about the renovation from you. When they have things I’m not supposed to tell you, they don’t tell ME. You’ll know what the 2018 Book Fair looks like about the same time I do.
Just get ready to spend money next July. We’re still working on the rest.