Director's Message - Summer 2007

Posted: Friday, June 1, 2007, 9:50 am

There's change afoot at the Library! Beginning in July, Old Worthington Library and Northwest Library will be renovated to make both facilities easier to use, more efficient and accessible. If everything goes according to schedule, the renovation will be complete in September 2008.

It's been 10 years since Old Worthington Library was remodeled and 11 years since Northwest Library opened. It might not seem like a long time, but library use and patron expectations have changed considerably in the last decade. Both libraries need to be updated in order to meet an ever-increasing demand for service (not to mention what 10- plus years of heavy foot traffic does to even the most durable carpet!).

Since 1996, library circulation has doubled. Worthington Libraries is now the 9th highest circulating library in Ohio, ranked behind only the eight metropolitan library systems. Space in both circulation departments is no longer adequate to process the growing number of books and other library materials being reserved, checked out and returned by patrons. The renovation includes two small additions to each building, providing the circulation staff with room to work more efficiently and get items back on the shelves and into the hands of waiting patrons in a more timely fashion.

Both libraries will also be rearranged, in order to meet the service goals defined in our 2005-2008 Strategic Plan, and spruced up with new carpet and paint.

If you've ever lived through a renovation project at home, you know it can be difficult. When we remodeled our kitchen and family room two years ago, we quickly adjusted to eating takeout in our finished basement, but longed for the day when everything would be finished and back to normal. When the project was finally complete, it turned out to be well worth it.

Going through a library renovation, which I've done several times in my career, is very similar. We plan to keep both libraries open throughout the process, but at various times specific departments will temporarily change location within the Library. We hope you'll find that it's worth any inconvenience as highlights of the renovation include: the addition of more computers; better display of books and other materials; clearly defined spaces for children, teens and tweens within each library (and age-appropriate furnishings); a family restroom at Old Worthington Library; a drive-up window at Northwest Library; and self-serve coffee stations, as well as seating, in both library lobbies.

Total budget for both renovation projects is $3,590,390. Because Northwest Library is a joint library, operated by both Worthington Libraries and Columbus Metropolitan Library, the Columbus Metropolitan Library Board of Trustees recently committed funds to pay for half of the Northwest Library renovation costs. What an outstanding partnership!

The renovation projects make it possible for us to implement major service goals included in the library's strategic plan, developed with input from over 100 community members and available online at www.worthingtonlibraries.org. More information on the building projects can also be found on the library's web site, which will be continually updated throughout the project.

As we prepare to start this project and begin a new phase of library growth, I'd like to thank you in advance for your patience and support. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact me at 807-2601 or meribah@worthingtonlibraries.org.

— Meribah Mansfield

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