It's your library...

…and you use it a lot!!! Since our renovation and addition in 2000, over 3 million people have walked through the doors here. The building has held up very well, but there are a few things that need addressing to make your use of the library even easier and more pleasant than it is now:

  • Fire safety. We are not up to current building code and because of the number of people using this library every day, it is really essential that we install a sprinkler system that would stop fire from spreading.
  • Lights. Since we will be tearing up the ceilings for the sprinklers, this is an appropriate time to consider our lighting. We have fluorescent T12 and T8 direct lighting throughout the library. T12s were phased out by the Department of Energy in 2012, and different types and lengths of T8 bulbs will begin to be phased out in 2014 for reasons of energy efficiency. We are looking at lighting that is both direct and indirect (30% of the light points downward, and 70% points upward to reflect off of ceilings and walls) because it imitates natural light, is more comfortable on the eyes, reduces glare, and is more computer friendly. We will be considering a switch from T8s to T5s (T5s are smaller, dimmable, flicker less, have better coloring, have longer life and, because they are brighter, we’ll need fewer of them). LEDs are too expensive for us to consider at this point.
  • Restrooms. Besides needing a freshen-up, we are hoping to add additional sinks and we are looking to see if we can add a child-size toilet.
  • Carpet and paint. We recarpeted part of the library in 2010. We need to finish that job. You may not have noticed, but in many areas we have carpet going up the walls which we don’t think makes sense to replace. This means smoothing out the walls and painting.
  • Furnishings. Some of our furniture dates back to before the 2000 renovation and some of it is not that comfortable. We will look at what makes sense to replace. We see a need to offer a greater variety of seating and study spaces.
  • Noise. We are looking at ways to make areas quieter.
  • Meeting spaces. This is one of our most frequent requests. Community groups would like to use their library spaces to have meetings, and we are looking at ways to fit that in.
  • More places to sit. We notice people are staying longer in the library and using it in different ways than they used to in the past. To create more spaces for the community, we are shifting staff around. So staff spaces need some reorganizing as well.
  • Outlets. Lots of people bring their devices to the library and devices need to be recharged. We need convenient outlets throughout the library.
  • A single information desk. A lot of people are confused about which desk they should go to when they have a question, and it is hard for us to staff two separate desks all the time. By creating a larger, single desk to cover all possible questions, visitors should never find themselves waiting at an empty desk or trying to figure out who can help them. Everyone can help you!
  • The parking lot. We WISH we could make it larger, but we have built to our allowable impervious cover limits, so that is not an option. We are looking at trying to find a better spot for the book drop so you can drive up to it and not have to park and get out of your car. We are hoping this relieves a little bit of the congestion in our parking lot.

If you have ideas for our update, please share them! We have a survey accessible on our website and comment boxes throughout the library. You can also email the director at maryjo@westbanklibrary.com.