We're almost finished! The renovations that began at Old Worthington Library and Northwest Library in July 2007 are nearing completion, and we expect both projects to be wrapped up this fall—on time and within budget.
Since we kept both buildings open during this process, patrons were able to watch the changes unfold in each area of the Library. We recognize this wasn't always convenient, as collections were sometimes unavailable or relocated, and we fully anticipated circulation would decrease as a result. We were wrong!
Amazingly, average monthly circulation increased more than 12.5% from July 2007 through June 2008. I've worked on many library construction projects, and this is the first time in my more than thirty-five years of experience that use of a facility increased during a renovation. Nothing will deter Worthington Libraries patrons from using their libraries!
Since the goal of the renovation was to make each library more convenient and easier to use, I'm confident the community will be pleased with the results. Although a few things need to be tweaked, early patron feedback has been extremely positive, and the staff looks forward to helping people acclimate to the renovated space.
Major changes at Old Worthington Library include: the addition of a family restroom; creation of designated spaces for tweens and teens; rearrangement of the children's area and the inclusion of age-appropriate furniture; construction of five new group/quiet study rooms; and more space for browsing and relaxing in the new main reading room.
At Northwest Library, patrons can pick up their reserves without getting out of their cars! The addition of a drive-through pickup window is a tremendous hit. Other changes at this location include: the creation of a defined space for children with age-appropriate furnishings; four group/quiet study rooms; an exciting space for teens; new shelving that permits easier browsing of the collection; comfortable seating; and the addition of an outdoor performance space.
Both libraries have more computers and electrical outlets for plugging in laptops, enabling patrons to take advantage of wireless Internet access available in Old Worthington Library and Northwest Library, as well as the new Worthington Park Library. When complete, we'll also have coffee vending and café seating available in the lobbies of both libraries and lockers available for 24/7 pickup of reserves.
We're also working to create new entrances for the children's departments at all three libraries. Reflective of the current storytime areas in Old Worthington Library and Northwest Library, the new themed entrances will feature classic characters from children's literature. Once the new children's entrances are complete in November, it will be time to celebrate!
We want to thank you for being such a patient, supportive community. Please save the date for a community celebration at all three libraries on Saturday, December 6.
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