Day: December 13, 2013

The exterior view of the Barrington Area Library building

343. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like… a New Library

 It’s been 8 months since the Barrington Area Library began its renovation project – wow! Time doesn’t so much fly as SOAR these days. 🙂
We’ve been very fortunate. Very few mishaps and re-dos, lots of progress. We’re still on course for our May 2014 grand reopening, but you can stop by anytime and see some of the great new spaces we’ve prepared for you – if you don’t mind some hanging plastic and occasional construction noise.
One of the most rewarding things for me has been seeing people immediately take to the new spaces. If you build it, they really will come! Walk out into the new Adult Services area upstairs and you’ll find businesspeople at work with laptops and mobile phones, tutors walking high school students through tricky chemistry questions, and seniors just relaxing in a quiet corner with something good to read. If I was coming here to work (well, I mean, if I didn’t actually have a job here!), this is probably the spot I’d choose, because of the beautiful views of our garden areas on three sides. It looks beautiful today, with a fresh coat of snow, and in spring and summer, it’s going to be even more amazing!
Right now, non-fiction books for adults are upstairs (except for those found in our New Book collection, which is still being temporarily housed in the Meeting Room). So if you’re heading here looking for fabulous holiday cookie ideas or equally as fabulous travel books for escaping the holidays, come upstairs and we know you’ll leave happy and full of ideas.
There’s no doubt about it – teens like their own, dedicated space, and we’re giving them lots of it in the remodeled library. These cool booths are, and I’m not kidding, always full. Adults use them during the day, but when school gets out, the teens are here in force. It’s like hanging out at a cool diner or coffee shop, but you don’t have to order French fries to stay as long as you want. We’ve got great books for teens and young adults up here, too, so they can browse for something not related to school work.
And check out the new bleacher-style seating:
I’m envisioning that PACKED with students during Finals week, and that vision makes me very, very happy! We may eventually have events up in this space, too, and when construction is complete, it will open up to the library’s beautiful atrium. We really have made a determined effort to give the very best seats in the house to you, our community. Oh, and you don’t have to be a teen to use this fun and functional space – our new Reading Commons is open to everyone.
Got a reference question or want help your e-reader or tablet? Stop by the new Adult Services desk on the second floor. Since we haven’t moved all of the adult resources upstairs yet, these folks can get lonely! (They’re kind of the Maytag repairmen of the library world right now…) Eventually, all of the adult fiction will be upstairs – and that day is coming soon, since the new Youth Services department on the first floor is due to open in late January 2014. I. Can’t. Wait. I want to save information about that for another post, but let’s just say it’s going to knock your socks off. In a really, really good way!
Oh, the meeting rooms – we know how you miss them and we miss being able to provide them! Since we’re using the two big meeting rooms as temporary office and browsing space, and the Zimmerman Room is attached to the still under construction stair tower, it will be a few more months. Coming soon, however, will be new small group rooms on the second floor. You can catch a sneak peek here……

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