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Pine River Public Library set to re-open Sunday
2/22/2013 By: Carole McWilliams
Karen Lemke of the Pine River Public Library shows one of the new pods that will serve patrons. The grand opening for the new expansion is from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.
BHS wrestling update from Thursday's first-round action at the Colorado state finals: Tyler Beebe lost, Colter McMenimen won, Allec Rodriguez lost, Drake Rhodes won, Joe Zink lost, Matt Cerdaf lost, Matt Eckstein won. We'll have complete state coverage from Joel Priest in our March 1 edition. Matt, Colter, and Drake all move onto quarter-final matches Friday. Good luck, Wolverines!
There were a lot of cars in the Pine River Public Library parking lot Tuesday morning, but they weren't patrons.
They were staff and construction workers pushing to get the expanded and renovated library ready for the grand re-opening Sunday afternoon.
Books are going back on shelves in their new locations. Computers are up and running in their new locations. New furnishings, including comfy chairs with moveable laptop shelves, were still pushed together in temporary locations on Tuesday.
Library Programming Coordinator Karen Lemke gave the Tuesday morning tour for the Times.
She noted the big check-out and information counter is gone. It has been "replaced with smaller pods to allow us as library employees to be more out on the floor interacting with patrons, more service-oriented," Lemke said.
The first pod is straight ahead as you come in the main entrance of the old part of the building, next to the new children's early literacy room. There will be a self-checkout where the big circulation counter used to be, Lemke said.
The other circulation pod is toward the east end new 4,000-square-foot addition, the quiet adult area.
The early literacy room has glass doors that can slide shut so kids can be noisy without affecting other patrons.
The expanded children's area now occupies the west end of the old building, what Lemke called "the loud side."
The teen area has moved into the old community meeting room. There is a youth services office between the teen and children's areas, and someone in that office can see into both areas.
During the day when kids are in school, the computers in the teen room will be available for anyone to use, Lemke said.
The old wall between the main library area and the teen room has been removed. But once the teen books and shelves are in place, there will be more separation between the two areas, she said.
The old part of the building still has two small meeting rooms and a new media lab.
"We moved all the videos closer to the front," Lemke said. "A lot of people use those." New books also will be up front.
The adult computers have been moved to the back wall just east of the media lab. "We found a lot of patrons want more privacy with the computers," Lemke said. "We also have laptops that people can check out."
The library also has a new case to display its assortment of digital devices such as e-readers and tablet computers.
Then Lemke led the way into the new part of the building, the adult area, another service pod, and the new community meeting room.
"Our biggest change within our (book) collection is that we dropped the Dewey Decimal System and moved to a more user friendly model," Lemke said. "Instead of numbers (on each book) there will be "neighborhoods" based on subject.
"One of our greatest features is the quiet seating area with the indoor-outdoor fireplace," she said. The gas fireplace is in the east exterior wall, with glass on each side. Comfy chairs will be arranged around it.
Lemke noted the two solar tubes in the ceiling. They channel natural light into the area below, part of the building's increased energy efficiency.
She noted that solar panels have been added to the south side roof. "There will be a link to see how much electric we are using. We aren't LEED certified, but we made choices to be as energy efficient and sustainable as we could."
The new meeting room can hold 133 people, versus 100 in the old room. An overhead garage door with transparent panels can separate the meeting room from the adult reading area.
The meeting room can be divided into two smaller spaces so two groups can use it at the same time.
Each space has a projector and a Smart Board, Lemke said. For movies, there is a ceiling mounted projector and a large pull-down screen.
"At one point while we were closed, we had about 75 percent of our collection crammed in here," Lemke said of the meeting room.
The meeting spaces are free for non-profit organizations. There is a small fee for private users, Lemke said.
The new space also has a kitchen for community use, although it doesn't have a stove. "We are getting cooking classes. Patrons asked for that," she said. There will be a mobile cooking cart that will have a stovetop unit but probably no oven.
Lemke said the total cost of the project is estimated at $1.3 million.
"The entire project was paid for without asking our local taxpayers for an increase, and thousands of dollars were received through grants," she said. "El Pomar donated $30,000, LPEA donated $29,000 for many of the library's sustainability features. We also received a generous $5,000 donation from the Safari Club."
The library grand re-opening is Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Everyone is invited. There will be food, music, and garden-related door prizes.
This spring, work will take place on the outside gathering area and community garden just east of the building.
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