The day we've all been waiting for-Main Library patrons, staff and construction workers-is finally here. The extensive renovation of the Main's First Floor has been completed and will be officially unveiled at a celebration at 10 a.m. on Jan. 16, 2008.The First Floor renovation project has resulted in an additional 6,000 square feet of publicly-accessible space-an area that was previously used for staff functions. It has also tripled the amount of browseable shelf space that formerly housed the fiction collection. The long-awaited renovation-the first since the new Main Library building opened in 1996-includes a handsome new central service point for checking out and returning library materials, obtaining library cards and paying fines. Two self-return machines are in operation, connected to a new automated sorting unit that will enable staff to return items to the shelves faster. Dedicated computer stations now allow patrons to fill out library card applications and pay fines and fees online. New self-checkout equipment has been installed. The men's and women's restrooms have been renovated and enhancements have been made to the building's plumbing, heating, ventilation, electrical and mechanical systems.
Other things to explore and enjoy on the fresh-faced First Floor include the entire fiction collection, including new fiction, general fiction, mysteries, graphic novels, science fiction, westerns and large print fiction and nonfiction; a selection of new, popular nonfiction; an expanded Audiovisual Center; a rebuilt Information desk in a more visible, centrally-located space in the atrium; and new floor coverings, lighting and carrels for library catalogs and Internet Express stations.The move of some of the materials to the First Floor will allow more space for the general and international collections on the Third Floor. More than 2,500 square feet of book storage space was also added to the First Floor to enhance the Library's ability to house and make available the growing collection. The renovation is the result of recommendations from the 2000 Main Library Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) report, the Library's management team, the City's Bureau of Architecture and the Main's First Floor library staff. Thanks to everyone for your patience during this sometimes noisy and inconvenient-but necessary-process. Enjoy your new First Floor-and join us on Jan. 16!