There used to be a library in my neighborhood that was a claustrophobic's nightmare. Not only was the tiny, nondescript building woefully inadequate to house even a mediocre collection of books, videos, and reference materials, but it also didn't have air conditioning.
This was a shame because it's hard enough to preach the merits of reading to children in the first place. Convincing them to spend time in a hot, cramped 1950s-era building, when they could be sitting comfortably at home playing video games or in front of a computer, is not an ideal way to get them to read. Even I admit, I had to have an awfully good reason to go to my local library.
One of the library's truly shocking features was the card catalog, a vintage series of wooden drawers containing tiny type-written cards. This was where everyone went to look up books and other reference materials. You didn't type a phrase and hit Enter. You manually pulled a knob to open each drawer, which was filled with hundreds of aging 3x5-inch yellowing cards displaying Dewey Decimal System numbers.
But a couple of years ago, back when it was awash in tax money, the library district built a brand new building to replace the dilapidated structure four blocks away. The organization is the same. The library still uses the Dewey Decimal System to organize its collection. But now it is computerized and no longer filed in a rickety card catalog.
I bring this up as you hold in your hands Masonry Construction's 2010 Industry Sourcebook, the masonry industry's most complete source of materials, services, and products and their manufacturers. How would you find anything in a library if it were not organized? Organization is also of paramount importance to contractors. In addition to having an organized toolbox, you also should have an organized reference to help you bid on, and prepare for, projects.
In addition to the Equipment, Jobsite, and Materials Product Directories, and the Company Directory in the magazine, you can find an even more extensive listing at our Web site. Keep this issue at your desk and I hope you refer to it throughout the year. It should be a tremendous timesaver.
Project of the Year
As an added bonus to this year's Industry Sourcebook you will find the MC Project of the Year. I think you'll agree the Crescent Dorms at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., truly exemplify the best the masonry industry has to offer. The 515,000-square-foot, 1200-bed dormitory complex represents the largest single masonry subcontract ever awarded in Connecticut.
I also am happy to announce more than 1300 of you voted for the Reader's Choice winner, which is Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at University of Memphis.
Thank you for participating-it's not too early to start thinking about which projects you should enter in next year's contest.