Company lifting 95,000 books at Steamboat library to install new carpet |

Company lifting 95,000 books at Steamboat library to install new carpet

A crew from PSI Installations uses jacks to move a stack of books, estimated at 1,300 pounds, at the Bud Werner Memorial Library in order to make room for carpet layers to do their work.
Tom Ross

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The books in the Bud Werner Memorial Library’s non-fiction collection were on the move early Monday. No need to worry though – they were back in their usual spots by early the next day.

The 28,000-square-foot library is getting new carpeting this week.

If you think it was a headache moving your furniture around the last time you ordered new carpet for your home, consider the library moving 95,000 books stored loosely in tall metal shelving.

“I estimate that (row of five sets of shelves) weighs 1,300 pounds,” Mario Williams, the supervisor of  the crew of half a dozen men who were moving the stacks around at the library Tuesday.

It turns out there is a Colorado company that specializes in moving shelving; Williams works for PS Installations in Denver.

How do you move 1,300 hundred pounds of books without removing them from their shelves?

Williams’ crew eased two rows of hand jacks on wheels, about 4 feet high and 5 feet wide, into place on either side of a row of book shelves to lift them a few inches off the ground and then, working in concert to push them without too much strain, shifted them out of the way so carpet layers from Larkin Flooring could do their work.

The process goes in stages as Williams’ crew moves a row of book stacks off one zone of the second-story floor so another smaller crew of two from Larkin Flooring can install the new carpet, and the moves other stacks back where they belong.

Williams received a text message at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning confirming the two carpet layers had knocked off for the night at 4 a.m. The unusual work schedule helps to minimize disturbance for library patrons.

“Things are a little topsy turvy for us right now, but we hate to close the library as it inconveniences so many folks,” Library Director Chris Painter wrote in an e-mail.

PS Installations, owned by Peter Stravlo and Joe Padberg, is prepared to perform a variety of building installations, but the core of its business is moving stacks for libraries, primarily in Colorado, Utah, Montana Wyoming and New Mexico.

Braden Rivera, in his second year with PSI, said he’s already worked at quite a few libraries, most of them urban, and was impressed with Steamboat’s library.

“You can see the mountain top right there and the stream flowing by,” Rivera said. “A lot of libraries in bigger cites tend not to be treated so well. It’s amazing for people to respect this furniture,” he said, admiring the library’s upholstered chairs that overlook the Yampa River.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1.

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