Reading room redo

By Rob Treynor

February 11, 2014

London Public Library had some good news and bad news during a special press conference on Monday, Feb. 10.

The bad news is that the library will be closing on March 26 for two weeks.

The good news is that when the library reopens on April 14, it will look like a brand new building.

“In 2012, we sent out a survey to the community. Out of that survey, a few ideas came out of it that we looked at for the future,” director Mike Hensel said Monday morning.

“We had looked at expanding the library building,” Hensel said, citing the survey results. “We’d love to do an expansion, but the community members were not where they used to be financially.”

The board did not feel that expansion would be smart at this juncture.

“There was interest in expanding the children’s room, but that idea would require an expansion,” Hensel said. “At this time, we think that was a project for further down the road. Certainly, there’s a need there, but we wanted to see what we could do without adding additional walls.”

The library board of trustees found plenty of improvements could be made within the confines of the library as it currently stands, including:

• The complete main floor, children’s room and administrative offices will be re-carpeted. Each area of the library will be carpeted with different patterns to define the different locations.

• A lounge area will be added near the bay window, with new furniture.

• The main book section of the library will be re-arranged to accommodate the lounge area.

• The YA/teen area will receive new lounge seating and additional shelving to allow for an expanding collection.

• The computer room will get new chairs.

• Modern, energy-efficient lighting will replace the current lighting throughout the first floor of the library.

• The audio/visual (A/V) room and the reading room will swap places, allowing for an expansion of A/V materials (DVDs, video games, audiobooks, music CDs, etc.).

“We’re really excited because we can almost double the size of the A/V area by swapping the reading room with A/V room,” Hensel said.

He explained 50 percent of all current checkouts are of A/V materials.

The new reading room will have a different look, with new furniture and a fresh coat of paint on the walls.

“We’re going to bring hometown cozy elements to that area. It’ll be like an extension of your own home,” Hensel said of the reading room.

Among the new furniture to be installed will be study tables wired with electrical outlets so patrons with mobile devices can plug in.

In order to make the renovations, the library will close for approximately two and a half weeks, starting Wednesday, March 26.

The grand re-opening is slated for 9 a.m. on Monday, April 14, in conjunction with National Library Week.

Patrons with materials checked out during the renovation period will have until the library re-opens to return the items. The library will still accept returns at the drop box located on Union Street.

Rob Treynor may be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 19 or on Twitter @robtreynor.