Posted November 25, 2020.
Whether you’ve browsed for a book or movie, attended a program, or weaved your way back to the elevator, you’ve likely noticed how the Library sometimes feels cramped. Despite the space constraints in our beloved historic building, Library staff have been endlessly innovative to give you what you’ve asked for the past few years:
- You now have a main level space for events after we converted the Library Board Room (now called the Reed Room) into public space.
- You now have a dedicated teen space that we carved out of the lower level. (Remember how teens used to only have a corner of shelves scrunched in by the mystery section?)
- You now have easier access to and improved lighting of audiobooks because we converted staff offices into the main level Audio Room.
As innovative as we have been, we are reaching the extent of what we can make happen within the existing space. In March 2020, the Library hired an expert library planning consultant to review the Library’s current operations and the community’s wish list to determine how much space the Library needs. The consultant’s report was then used by HGA to develop the design options.
Uppermost in thought, however, is that any expansion under consideration must cede prominence to the historic building. We are grateful for input from community members like you, collaboration with those with preservation and environmental interests, and involvement from the City, all of which creates a richer, more relevant design that doesn’t infringe on the old or shortchange the new.
As you can see in the photos on this page, one way to accomplish this balance is by building an expansion that provides enough space for excellent library services and resources, now and for many decades into the future, but cedes prominence to the original historic structure when viewed from Deerpath Road. The expansion is always meant to be secondary, never to overwhelm or replace the historic building. Alongside you, we look forward to seeing how the design, both inside and outside, continues to evolve.