Huntsville library renovations on horizon
No designated teen space planned in redesign
HUNTSVILLE – Huntsville Public Library is about to get a new look.
Deborah Duce, chief librarian, said the library board’s facilities committee has determined the library’s layout is not as functional as it could be and intends to do something about it.
“One of the plans we have is to redesign the layout of certain parts of the library,” said Duce.
The redesign will affect the circulation and information desk area, the Rotary Teen Space, the Friends’ Multi-Purpose Room and an underused kitchenette.
The teen space, which opened in 2010 after contributions for the Rotary Club of Huntsville, the Friends of the Huntsville Library and the library board, is a dedicated lounge and cyber-café with couches, beanbags, books, music and computer workstations.
But Duce said the concerns of some of the library patrons about the teen space have made the board realize that the needs of library patrons have changed over the past two years.
“We’ve had to adapt to make the space accessible to everybody,” said Duce.
The teen space will be dismantled as part of the redesign with its furniture and equipment redistributed throughout the library so other library users as well as teens can use it.
Duce said she has spoken with the Rotary Club of Huntsville about the library board’s plans and the club is supportive.
But she emphasized that the redesign was not necessarily about taking away the teen space.
“It’s making better use of the space that we have,” said Duce. “It’s not taking away accessibility for teens, it’s just opening it up to everybody.”
The redesign will also increase the use of the Friends’ Multi-Purpose Room.
People are not able to enter the meeting room from the main library area, but that is about to change. Duce said a hole will be cut in the wall between the main library and the meeting room and glass double doors will be installed.
The renovation will allow library patrons to go into the room when it isn’t booked for meetings and use it as a quiet study space to meet with tutors, peruse newspapers or read books, said Duce.
And an underused kitchenette tucked behind the meeting room will be renovated into a creativity and exploration hub. The hub will include computers loaded with creativity software and accessible workstations.
Improvements to the library also include accessible computer and workstation enhancements and the inclusion of an assessable library catalogue.
While there is no firm cost for the project, Duce said the library board has received a $36,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation for the renovations. She noted the board does have additional capital reserves for the project, if necessary.
The board hopes to have the work done by the end of March or the beginning of April. Disturbance to library users during the renovations is expected to be minimal.