Patrons can now browse the shelves of the Plain City Public Library once again.
The location at 305 W. Main St. reopened Wednesday after being closed for renovations for nearly half a year. Plain City Public Library held a preview open house on Tuesday evening for those who donated to the Adopt-a-Bookshelf fundraiser and a grand opening for the public the following Wednesday night.
“We’re really excited for people to see it,” said Chris Long, library director. “It’s been a lot of work but we’re happy it’ll finally be open to our patrons.”
The building’s changes are noticeable as soon as patrons walk through the door. A new security gate and view of the newly designed front desk/circulation area will greet them. Patrons will also notice that the front desk has two stations that will function as self checkout kiosks — a new feature for the library.
“We wanted to do a number of updates but two of our focuses were making better use of rooms and spaces and also we wanted to open the floor plan up more,” Long said. The adult fiction section and movie shelves moved to the area that used to be the children’s section. The shelving is turned to allow for more of a direct flow from the entrance doors through to the back.
The children’s section might be the most noticeable and sizeable change.
“We’re probably most excited for our new storytime space,” Long said. “Ages ago, the architect who designed it, talked with us about a ‘secret garden’ concept and we loved that idea so much that that’s really where that came from.”
The area, which is now located in the part of the building that used to be adult fiction, is a nearly closed-off, rounded set of shelving that has two openings: an adult-size doorway and a small, child-sized doorway. Once inside the space, patrons will notice the colorful ceiling and open layout which consists of a chair swing and riser seating.
“We wanted to keep it simple and leave some of it to the imagination,” Long added.
Another major change is to the computer and technology room which has been opened up for the purposes of having multipurpose uses.
“Multipurpose is sort of the theme of this thing,” said Long. “Before, there were so many rooms that weren’t getting used efficiently and now that everything is a bit more flexible, it’s far more efficient.”
The library not only went through superficial design changes, it also went through changes in the back offices and in the utilities.
“There was also a lot of work done that you can’t see. The data cabling was 25 years old, the wiring was 45 years old. We did a lot of in-the-wall updates to make the whole experience better and faster,” Long said. “We also tried to use some elements from the existing library to blend the two.” Some of the shelving from the existing library was re-purposed by local contractors to be used for new items. For example, CDs were once in divider bins but will now be in retrofitted drawers added to older bookshelves.
“We tried to do a lot of that where we could. We tried to utilize local contractors wherever possible also,” she said.
One hiccup, however, came from the furniture company the library used which is based in New England. After last year’s winter weather, the company was delayed in getting items over to the library.
“There are a couple of things like that that are still coming or in the process of getting in place,” Long said. “For the most part we are ready to go.”
Patrons will have access to materials in a more efficient way and even a broader selection.
“One new thing we’re excited to have for people is bringing back vinyl,” Long added. “Patrons can check it out or just listen. It’s exciting to be able to bring something like that back. This whole process has really been a combination of updating our building and figuring out how to better serve our patrons.”
The library is open Monday-Thursday at 10 a.m. and Friday and Saturday at noon.
Reach Michael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.
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