July Library Revitalization Update

It’s high time for an update on the Library Revitalization Project. Progress has been made both at the Library and in the planning details surrounding the project.

Image showing piles of cut concrete with the elevator in the background

In addition to the concrete dust flying in the building on Curtis Street, detailed planning is underway.  A number of interdepartmental Task Forces have been established to discuss a wide variety of topics.

At the Kids’ Spot Task Force, discussion revolved around how to create a literacy rich environment for children and their accompanying adults in the Palmer Youth Library. We plan to accomplish this by providing educational games and learning activities. Staff will be looking at other libraries for inspiration. For example, at one library the stair treads were numbered so that children and adults could sing the alphabet song as they entered the library and mirrors were added to the service desks with signs asking the children what mood they were in today.

A Teen Zone Task Force composed of library staff members as well as about 10 teens from our Teen Advisory Board met to discuss furnishings.  In a nutshell, they want to be able to lounge on chairs and on the floor and “get comfortable”. They’d also like chairs with places to put laptops and other devices.

“Express Reads”, an initiative to have popular materials available at all times for shorter loan periods, was passed by the Library Board for a launch in September. A Readers’ Advisory Task Force is investigating ways to implement this program, as well as looking at ways to connect readers with books that they will enjoy as well as with library staff members and other customers with similar reading interests.

Technology Task Force – This group is looking at the various functions in the library that require technology and beginning to formulate a plan for efficiently moving it from the Mall to the Library.

Our new Study Rooms, Computer Lab, enlarged Local History space and Marketplace display areas all have a task forces to investigate ways these spaces will be used, and the furnishing required in them.

Working with an interior designer, the Adult Furnishings Task Force is looking at samples of furnishings and creating a layout. We listed the various functions that need to be considered for our customers (i.e. studying in groups, studying alone, socializing, comfortably reading) and mapped out where these functions might take place. We will then be able to recommend types and quantities of the different styles of furniture we select.

We also have a Collections and Move Task Force analyzing whether or not some collections could be combined – such as hard cover and paperback fiction.  They also began to think about placement of collections in the Revitalized Library keeping in mind that we want to achieve a flow from one to another.

If you’d like more information, continue to check out our website, visit our Flickr photostream or stop by at our temporary locations at Elgin Mall.  We’ll be setting up an information booth in the Adult area with ongoing updates and photographs of progress shortly.

-HR

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