Many people go to the Twinsburg Public Library for the ability to read or reflect in peace and quiet, but for the next several months, both of those might not be available. But the library’s director Laura Leonard promises it will be well worth it.
Starting Monday, renovations to the library’s circulation area will begin, lasting six to eight weeks at a cost of nearly $170,000.
Leonard said that this project was part of promise when the last levy passed in 2008. She said when the library was built in 1993, no one thought they would end up circulating 1.2 million items a year, like 2010.
“It’s time for a change,” Leonard said. “We’ve been waiting a long time.”
These changes will affect how you use the library during construction. Because the main lobby will be sectioned off during construction, the library staff is asking that starting Monday, patrons use the back door of the building, next to the drive-thru, to go in and out. This could obviously create problems with cars using the book drop, so Leonard is cautioning everyone to be extra careful during this process.
“We’re asking everybody to be patient and careful,” Leonard said. “It will be well worth the headache, but everybody's going to need to be patient.”
There will be a makeshift circulation desk during this time, across from the reference desk, and both computer labs will still be open.
Once all is said and done, the most visible changes will be at the circulation desk. Currently patrons have a long counter to check out books and movies, which has caused a problem with traffic flow in the lobby. Leonard said the new look will be like a bank, where people can go to a specific station, either with a clerk or a self-checkout.
“After years of seeing people struggling with where to go, we would have lines back to the reference desk,” Leonard said. “We’re definitely trying to improve the traffic flow and experience for the customer.”
The first thing you will see walking through the doors will be the new welcome desk, which will allow the worker to greet patrons, keep an eye out with people coming and going, and offer better service to handicapped customers. Leonard is glad to have a presence up front, so no one goes un-welcomed.
“When you come into the library now, you can walk for a mile and maybe not see somebody,” Leonard said.
Another visible change will be a face lift for the Adult Public Services Department, or the reference desk, matching the new circulation desks.
These renovations will also be a welcome change for employees and volunteers. The circulation work room, where most of the 1.2 million items a year are moved to and from the shelves and other libraries, is getting cramped with the volume of materials. While she is thrilled with all those items, Leonard said there isn’t enough space to move at times.
“There were times you could not get through this room,” Leonard said. “You had people discharging materials, pulling items to go out, volunteers shelving in the holds.”
Leonard, who bears the responsibility of being a good steward to the library, is especially excited because this will be her first renovation project as a director, allowing her the opportunity to make choices that will take the library into the future.
“I want them (patrons) to see that what we’ve done was an improvement to their experience,” she said. “I think that’s the most important thing. We’ve invested your money wisely and it was an improvement to your experience.”