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Superior’s public library was built in 1965 and turned into a library in 1992 but has had no major upgrades since then. This winter and spring they will embark on $2.1 million in renovations.
The construction began Dec. 4 and is planned to be completed May 31. During this time the library will still be open during it’s regular hours with occasional closures and a 2-3 week closure in April to re-carpet the floors.
“We haven’t seen any improvements or updates since we opened in the early 1990’s, and I think it’s time,” said circulation manager Kyle Hawley. “The idea is to expand the children’s and [young adult] department, and have a fresh update and new furniture. There is a community need for more meeting rooms so we are going to add additional rooms, and better sight lines so we’re lowering shelves and have a more open floor plan.”
By lowering the shelves they hope to have the library utilize more natural light, improve security, and make it easier for patrons to reach books. They are also building a new computer lab, local history research area, and expanding the youth areas.
The front entry way was identified as structurally unsound in 2014, and the doors let in cold and heat. A new entrance will be more secure and energy-efficient, according to the library website.
The library developed a five year strategic plan in 2013. A design firm was brought in to figure out how they could use their existing space more efficiently. According to their website, they are being loaned $1.9 million from the City’s Capital Improvement Fund to be paid back over the next 12 years. $200,000 is being paid through library endowments and donations.
If you walk into the library today you will see many books on the shelves have been moved, art work on the walls have been taken down and all the seating in the area under the chandeliers have been moved, but the many services they provide are still available. The lego club, and children’s story time are still being held regularly and the computers are still accessible.
According to their website, 311,000 items were checked out at the library in 2016. Almost 25,000 people in Douglas County have library cards.