The Galt Marian O. Lawrence Library reopened to the public May 21 after being closed for a four-month renovation. As patrons explore the changes, library staff are preparing for the June 11 reopening celebration.
“They’re very happy that it’s the same place, but different,” branch supervisor Samantha LeBlanc said of the reactions people had on the first day of the library’s reopening. “We’ve only heard really positive things. It’s really nice. And they’re glad that we’re open again.”
During the renovation the library received a fresh coat of paint, LED lighting, and new furniture, including shorter bookshelves. The blinds were removed from the windows and the outdoor landscaping was cleaned up. All these changes help give the sense that the library is bigger and brighter than before.
“I never thought of the library as being dark because of the windows, but because now we removed those blinds, all the light is coming through,” LeBlanc said.
The overall aesthetic is modern, yet subdued with a multi-tone gray and white color scheme. Lengths of green walls and green chairs give the space a pop of color.
“We got rid of lots of older furniture because it did age out and it wasn’t fitting with the space,” LeBlanc said, adding that there is still some new furniture on the way. “It looks so much nicer.”
The library book drop was also moved outside to the right of the front door, the bathrooms were brought up to ADA compliance standards, and several leaks in the roof were repaired.
Along with the physical and aesthetic changes at the library, the renovation also gave the library’s collection its first facelift in a decade. Fifty-five hundred new books, audiobooks, DVDs, and other materials were added to the shelves, while old, outdated, and excessively worn materials were cleared out. This included beefing up the library’s selection of materials in Spanish.
Another change that is expected to be well received is an increased limit on how many items can be checkout out at once: you can now take home up to 60 items at a time.
The library is now open for its normal hours and the staff is eager to welcome the community back. A reopening celebration is planned for June 11 at 5 p.m. This family friendly event will have all the key staples of a library event, including light refreshments and an animal show from Nature’s Critters. Library tours will be given, or turn up and wander through the shelves yourself.