Visit New Library Location Thursday


Published on November 13 2012 1:54 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Millie Lange

Amanda McKay (left) and Catherine Bailey stand on the first floor with a photo of the new design for the library.

Excitement is starting to build as plans continue to develop for the new Helen Matthes Library.

The Fifth-Third Bank's old location has been designated as the new library and Thursday evening, members of the community are invited to visit and take tours through the soon-to-be renovated first and second floors of the old bank building.

Although plans have been produced by architects, they are still in the early stages and have yet to be finalized. But Helen Mattes Library Director Amanda McKay and Marketing and Adult Programming Coordinator Catherine Bailey took members of the press through the area Tuesday laying out the design for all the floors of the building.

The first floor will be renovated to have fiction and large print sections along with computer rooms.

On the first floor, the now existent elevators will be torn out because they are not compliant with the laws for a new structure.

"That is a big chunk of our expense," said McKay. "We will have the two elevator shafts taken out and a single elevator put in. The walls are coming down and doors leading into the main room will be taken out."


This is a design of what the first floor of the new library will look like.

The stairs to the second floor will remain. Upon entering the main room, the open area to the right will be the genealogy department. All walls in the open area that have been offices will be coming down. The back corner will be a computer training lab that community organizations will be able to rent to do training.

In the open expanse, the adult fiction and large print collections will be placed. To the west will be four quiet study rooms, all glass. These will be available for kids to study after school, study group projects or tutors to check out for study time. In the middle of the room will be computer stations along with audio visual and DVDs.

In the south area will be a quiet reading room with periodicals and newspapers and next to that will be the circulation area. The vaults in the building will remain where they are as the expense to move them would be huge. Book sale items will be stored in the first floor vault.

The bank teller's stations will be torn down and that will be made into a staff work area. There will be a check-out desk installed.

"We put as much commonly used areas as we could on the first floor," said McKay.

On the second floor, all walls will be torn down. There will be a teen section encased in glass. There will be a reference desk and the non-fiction section. In the middle will be study tables and computer work stations.

"We will have bookcases but none will touch the walls because we want to put seating around the windows on the second floor," said McKay. "There are some great views of the courthouse and downtown so we want to be sure people will have seating where they can look out the windows."

The entire rest of the second floor, which is half of the floor, will be dedicated to children's books. There will be work stations for children and their parents, bathrooms, programming rooms for kids for story times within the dpartment and also a children's check-out for books to take home.

The basement also will be utilized with the vault as the staff break room. There will be a large meeting room that can seat 150 and a small meeting room that will be open to the public for rental. There also will be 2,000 square feet available as long term lease options to interested businesses. Those will be demoed out and not finished.

All areas will be glassed in so the staff will be able to see throughout the library.

"All items will have RFD tags," said McKay. "We will have security installed and that won't be a problem for the employees. There has been a lot of thought go into allowing us to see everything in the library."

Along with the members of the community having the opportunity to see the space Thursday at the Read Night from 5:30-7:30 p.m., the Downtown Business Association will be using the first floor during Christmas for another opportunity to view the area.

The teller stations will be torn out and a staff area will take their place on the first floor.

When will all this culminate in the new library opening? Not for a while.

"The date hasn't been set yet for construction because the architects are still working on the blueprints," said McKay. "They probably will be finished and the board will be viewing them around February. After the board approves the final plans at some point, the project will be sent out for bids. As soon as contractors are hired and ready to go, then we're ready to go."