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staff_mark2Library’s Second Floor: Taking a Big Step Forward

by Mark Riffle, Technical Services Librarian
Beginning Sunday October 15, the Estes Valley Library facility is going to become just a bit smaller, and just a bit cozier. Fortunately, it’s only temporary, and it paves a path for an exciting 2018 and beyond. Following several years of gathering community feedback and planning for the future, the second floor renovation project is about to begin.

The Library’s second floor will be fully closed to the public starting on October 15. Renovations are planned to take two months, with the second floor re-opening in mid-December.

Good news: most second-floor services will be available on the first level. Public computer access, along with printing, document scanning, and photocopying, will temporarily move downstairs. Wi-fi access will remain available. And our friendly second floor staff will be available to assist.

A few services will be unavailable during the closure. Access to the small study rooms, as well as the Wasson Meeting Room, will be unavailable. The microfilm reader and the microfilms of historic newspapers will be unavailable. The rare books case will also be inaccessible.

We know the closure poses a temporary strain, but we look forward to the many benefits when the construction is completed. And those improvements are many.

Our popular small study rooms will grow from the current two to four, offering additional space for student collaboration, tutoring sessions, Book-a-Librarian appointments, and space for those needing a quiet place to focus or Skype for a job interview.

As libraries become busier with activities, it’s important to create quiet places for reading, study and reflection. After renovations, the second floor will also have a comfortable and relaxing quiet area, complete with its own fireplace to enjoy.

A “maker space” room will debut upstairs in 2018—a place to nurture creativity and innovation. Arts and crafts are a primary emphasis—including those ‘lost skills’ that might not be available to learn anywhere else. A second priority is the use of tools—including technology, such as 3D printing and digital design. On some days, it might just be the perfect place to sew or paint or build a puzzle. We’ll be seeking your creative ideas in the coming months.

The maker space, when not in use for library programs, will also serve as a much-needed third meeting room space that can be used by the public for clubs and organizations.

Finally, our computer and technology set-up will become much more adaptable to the needs of any given day. Computer classes, for instance, will no longer require the closure of the public computers as they currently do.

None of this would be possible without visionaries. We especially wish to thank the donors to the Estes Valley Library Friends & Foundation, including several generous individuals who have made significant contributions to this project. We look forward to celebrating them in 2018.

We’ll be raising some dust in the next couple months, but the benefits will be many. And we look forward to keeping you posted on the progress along the way.