Monday, November 29, 2010
Books are back at Iola Public Library
The main library has been closed for seven months while interior and roofing work was completed.
While the stacks will look familiar to patrons, other changes will be apparent from the moment one steps through the doors.
Instead of a solitary entryway, passages now divide adult and child users. Handicapped-accessible doors allow push-button entry.
The doors, library Director Roger Carswell noted, are slightly harder to pull open initially, but then “magic assist” kicks in, opening the doors with a gentle sweep to all.
For those unable to pull the doors at all, a shiny steel push button is at arm level, which will open the doors without further effort.
One inside, a newly configured checkout area awaits all patrons.
Librarians now face away from the main doors in a semi-circular desk area that also has been made ADA compliant.
Also suiting Americans with Disabilities Act regulations are renovated restrooms with newly added toddler restraints and baby changing stations — for patrons of both genders.
A coffee nook is nestled beside the periodical racks. Self-serve coffee will be brewing throughout the day, with a couple cafe tables where patrons can sit and sip and read.
In the southwest corner of the adult section will be a couple lounge chairs and small couch, Carswell said, a perfect hideaway for relaxing in the warm sunlight streaming through nearby windows.
Computers stations will be scattered throughout the library, Carswell said, while the youth section has been slightly enlarged and given new furniture to make it a more distinct space.
On the main stacks, the new face panels will boast removable display racks.
Eye catching signs will direct users throughout the building, to their favorite reading materials o other amenities.
Next up for renovation will be the west end of the library, which has been serving as the main user room while remodeling was going on.
“The plan is to try to get the outside work done before the weather changes” too dramatically, Carswell said,.
“During this next portion, all out public library portions (of the building) will be in their usual places,” Carswell said.
In the last phase, customers will see refreshing of the genealogical collection room and children’s department.
Until books are reshelved, patrons may access new additions and periodicals at the Flewharty-Powell annex across the alley form the library. Other materials may be placed on hold through the library’s website, http://iola.mykansaslibrary.org, and will be retrieved for pick up at the annex by library staff.
Hours at the Flewharty-Powell annex are weekdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again from 5-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
The annex will also be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday.
Carswell expects the main library to reopen by Thursday of next week.
FUNDS for the $839,000 renovation came from a Communtiy Development Block Grant, library savings and the City of Iola. The library had saved $93,000 towards the project; $400,000 came from the CDBG and the city provided $346,000.