Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2007, 9:12 pm
Both libraries in the Worthington Libraries system (Old Worthington Library and Northwest Library) will be renovated this year. Construction at both facilities is scheduled to begin in July and, if everything goes according to current plans, will be finished in September 2008. The budget for both projects is $3,590,390.
Use of Worthington Libraries continues to grow and space at both buildings is not being used as efficiently as possible to meet the increasing demand for library service. Since Northwest Library (a joint library with the Columbus Metropolitan Library) opened in 1996, system-wide circulation has more than doubled. Worthington Libraries now has the 9th highest circulation in the state, 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.
To remedy this situation, and to position the Library for future growth, the renovation includes two small additions to the circulation departments at both libraries. The additional space will be used to process materials more efficiently and is necessary to accommodate an automated materials handling system which may be added within the next year. The addition at Old Worthington Library will be on the south side of the building and will extend the building by 16 ft. (a total of 758 sq.ft.). The addition at Northwest Library will be on the east side of the building and will be 1,843 sq. ft. Northwest Library will also gain a drive-up window, enabling patrons to pick up reserves without leaving their vehicles.
Aside from the additions, the libraries will be rearranged to implement the goals of the 2005-2008 Strategic Plan. It has been 11 years since Northwest Library opened and 10 years since Old Worthington Library was remodeled. Both libraries are in need of new carpeting and paint. Some worn-out furniture will be replaced.
Because the methods for delivering library service and patron expectations regarding customer service continue to evolve, the libraries will also be rearranged to further maximize use of the collection, staff and available space. This will make visiting the Library a more positive and rewarding experience for patrons and will economize and streamline library operations.
Highlights of the rearrangement include:
- more computers will be added
- the size of the collection will be maintained, and bookshelves will be rearranged to make materials more accessible and attractive to browsers
- adding child-friendly furnishings in the children's departments and more defined areas for babies, younger children and tweens
- the addition of a family restroom at Old Worthington Library and a drive-up window at Northwest Library
- creating a single entrance/ exit point for the Northwest Library children's department, making it easier to monitor and for parents to keep track of their children
- providing teens with their own room in both libraries, where they can work together on school projects or just hang out without disturbing other library patrons
- the addition of seating and a self-serve coffee/beverage station in both library lobbies
- replacing the large reference and circulation desks with smaller workstations, thereby making the staff more accessible to patrons
Both libraries will undergo construction concurrently. At the present time, we don't anticipate that either location will be closed during any phase of the renovation. Parking patterns and entrance points may fluctuate, as will the locations of specific library departments within the libraries. Our goal will be to maintain communication with the community and to guide patrons through this process so they are prepared for upcoming changes and can look forward to seeing the finished product next year.