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Two doors down…and other changes afoot

November 1, 2010

There is little about our library that hasn’t been considered for change over the course of the last year.  We moved our entire operation last March and have been working on changing our old library building from the inside out since our departure.  (Actually, Joe Daniels Construction Company and its subcontractors have been doing that part.)

As a part of our design, we made the decision to move our front door further down Merchants Avenue.   This is the second time we’ve moved our front entrance.  The first move was made as a part of the 1983 expansion.  At that time we didn’t change our address; we opted to keep it as an East Milwaukee street address even though that had become the side street to the library.  Over the past 27 years, we have realized that having your front door on a street other than your address tends to confuse people.  We are now in the process of making an address change to reflect the fact that our front door is on Merchants Avenue.   When we move back, our address will be 209 Merchants Avenue.

And there are many other changes as well.  The most significant is that we will have two floors of service when we reopen.  That’s a very big difference for staff.  The upstairs will house collections for adults, quiet reading areas, and our research/technology center.  Our lower level will have our checkout area, the children’s library and a room for teens.  Bathrooms and meeting areas will be available on both levels.  We’ll be changing from two meeting rooms to two that are accessible after hours and five that are within the interior of the library.  Our sidewalk has also changed drastically.  The two levels of steps are gone as well as the retaining wall alongside the curb.  The entry is grade-level making accessibility profoundly easier.   The elevator has changed to an machine-room-less (MRL), high efficiency style and is located in the center of the checkout area.   We will have a self-checkout station as well as a staffed checkout.  Our materials return will not be at the front desk anymore but in the entry area accessible from inside and outside.  Our delivery door will move to the back so that all deliveries will be able to go directly into the staff workroom.  Our story time room will be adjacent to the children’s department instead of one floor away.  We are also thinking about changing our library hours based on study of usage patterns and our need to staff our building differently.

Not everything has changed.   You will see parts of our old building you recognize, I promise.  You will also see our valued staff members, in a different space, but with the same service philosophy.

I know change can be daunting and scary.  But it can also be fun and exciting as well as a real opportunity for fostering growth.  I will share with you some words that I refer to for inspiration.

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