The Plain City Public Library will be receiving an update starting next month. On Nov. 22, the library will close down its facilities and begin a complete, interior renovation project which has a planned completion sometime in April 2018. While the main building at 305 W. Main St. will be closed, Library Director Chris Long said there will still be limited services available.
“We are going to have a small selection of new materials and movies,” she said. Library patrons will be able to visit the temporary location at 249 W. Main Street. “We’ll be there primarily for pick-ups, holds, and drop-offs.” Patrons will still be able to use the library system’s online catalogue and request items from other locations.
Long said the renovations are a long time coming and that in addition to the remodeling, much of the library’s utilities will also be updated.
“We’ve needed to do an update to the facility for quite a few years,” she said. “Some of our cabling and wires haven’t been updated since the mid-1990s.” The library will be using this opportunity to do a number of things aside from improving infrastructure, there will also be changes to the work-flow for employees and library space for patrons.
“Some of our goals are making the work-flow faster and more efficient for our patrons,” she added. “We looked at collections that are waning in popularity. We are also looking at some of our rooms available to patrons.”
The library has reading rooms and community rooms which are available to patrons to use, but Long says there are periods of time where spaces are only used for storage if used at all. “One of the other goals is to make our spaces multi-use,” she said. “We have spaces that won’t sit dormant for weeks at a time.”
She said one of the biggest visual changes would be to the storytime area. “We currently have children’s storytimes in there but it’s not a very functional space.” The plan is to make the area visually different and to move it to a more open location in the library. Long said they have planned for this renovation for some time, saving funds and receiving donations.
They are also starting a fundraising campaign titled, “Adopt-a-Shelf” in which patrons can purchase a shelf for a one-time donation of $50. They can then personalize a message or piece of artwork which will be incorporated into the shelves ahead of the renovation. Then patrons will be welcome to come before the opening and hunt their message down.
“It will function as a kind of time capsule for the patrons,” Long said. “Plain City’s bicentennial is next year and we were thinking of a way to celebrate it. We came up with this campaign and I think it ties into the event nicely.”
However, with some of the updates coming in the form of new technologies, the library was able to receive a grant from the federal Institute of Library and Museum Services, awarded to them by the State Library of Ohio.
“This has really been an essential piece,” Long said. The grant will help the library acquire new “scanners to digitize audiovisual mediums such as mounted photo slides and 8mm home movies as well as technology to create digital files for 3D printing and virtual art.” She also said one of the most exciting things about the new technology is that patrons will have access to equipment that isn’t readily available in the community. “We’ll go a bit beyond what we’ve been able to provide.”
For patrons of the library, in addition to the limited services available during the renovation, the library will still hold their book sale, this time starting on Veterans Day. The library will also participate in Plain City’s “Christmas Under the Clock” festivities on Saturday, Dec. 2.
Reach Michael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.