The Local History Room has had to close up for a couple of days while we get organized into our expanded space. Things are quite a mess right now, but soon we’ll be enjoying more room and a great new layout.
Our collection isn’t accessible at the moment, but don’t forget that all the genealogy databases can be accessed from any of the computers in the Central Library and the branches, and there are many wonderful local history and genealogy books available in the circulating collection.
History Room Renovation
If you’ve been on the second floor of Central Library recently, you’ve seen some signs of renovation. Soon, some of that work will move to the first floor Children’s Room. Yes, we’ll soon see some changes that will support our new emphasis as a Family Place Library. That designation will align us with over 300 libraries in 23 states which have made a commitment to serving families with children from birth to age 5. Here’s the website: http://www.familyplacelibraries.org/.
What makes a Family Place Library special? Here are the core components:
- Strong collections of materials (books, music, toys) for babies, toddlers, parents and caregivers.
- The Parent-Child Workshop, which is a 5-week program for toddlers and parents, which emphasizes the importance of play and the importance of parents as a child’s first teachers.
- Coalition-building with community organizations to develop programs and services that meet local needs.
- Outreach to new and non-traditional library users, especially parents and very young children.
- Developmentally-appropriate programming for very young children and their parents.
- Library staff trained in family support, child development, parent education, and best practices.
Here at KPL, we’re just getting started on implementing Family Place Libraries. One of the most exciting projects is expanding the space in Children’s Room at Central Library so that we have more room to play! Soon, you’ll see a brand-new Activity Room open, the Story Room will lose one of its walls, and some things will be re-arranged. We’re excited about this time of growth and hope that you’ll be a part of our development as a Family Place Library!
Family Place Libraries
The next time you visit the second floor, you may think to yourself that things are not exactly the way you left them. It’s not your imagination; we have started to move things around in anticipation of renovating the Clarence L. Miller Family Local History Room. At this point the changes are minor, but we hope you will enjoy a lot more wonderful sunlight as we remove the shelving that once defined the eastern edge of the Local History Room. This also allows us to immediately serve patrons in this area from one desk, rather than two. We expect to start truly kicking up dust near the end of August.
Speaking of dust, on the first floor you may hear some construction noises coming from the staff areas. In preparation for the expansion of the Children’s Room, we are moving things around and consolidating spaces. Advances in technology and process improvements have helped use less space to circulate more materials. This frees up some square footage adjacent to the Children’s Room, which can be annexed to provide more activity space for children. So those noises you hear will become a fun new space in just a few months. Stay tuned.
Every morning I check on the progress of the new circulation desk area and each morning I am amazed at the progress. The excitement is growing as we get closer to the "unveil day" when the entire community is able to use the their new circulation desk. The goal was to build a smaller, more friendly, circulation that allowed staff and patrons to fully utilize the RFID technology we have been installing the past year. How great was it that an anonymous bequest allowed us to easily adapt new technology to better serve the KPL community? Pretty awesome because it allowed us to do things to ultimately save some money in the long run. Check back for the official unveiling date.
The next phase in the redo of the circulation desk area at Central Library is underway. The barricade is up around the circ desk and it is being removed to make way for a smaller one.
A temporary circulation desk has been set up by the curving stairs to the second floor. Materials being held for patrons are available for self pick-up on the magazine shelving.
There are three check out units available for patrons to use, identical to the ones in the children’s room and at Oshtemo Branch. During this transition, staff are stationed by the check out units to help patrons as needed.
Another change is online registration for a library card from any computer, at home or in the library, or from the dedicated one at the end of the temporary circulation desk.
The target completion date is the end of January. Look at the progress as you visit Central Library and we’ll continue to post updates on our website.
Renovation at Central Library
Kevin tells us that workers plan to install the RFID equipment on Tuesday, December 1st, assuming that all goes according to plan. The equipment being used is being custom designed, so additional installation time may be necessary.
Staff training will begin this week with hopes that we can make self checkout available to patrons next week. Staff members will be available to help patrons with the self-check as needed.
Note: Workers encountered a small snafu on Tuesday while installing the kiosk. Hopefully, it will be up and running by Wednesday and available for patrons to begin using next week.
Self Checkout Kiosk
During the week of November 23, the barricades will again be erected so workers can begin installing the Checkout Kiosk. The kiosk will be located in the tiled area in front of the circulation desk. Once the kiosk is built and operational patrons will be able to check out their own materials at one of the three stations!
You may also have noticed a temporary circulation desk located under the stairs. Soon the circulation staff will begin moving into the space to make sure there are no interruptions to service. We will also be moving patron holds out from behind the desk, so you can retrieve them yourself. All of these changes are happening to not only take advantage of new technologies, but to also find efficiencies and save money.
The changes are coming quickly, so check back often to find out what else KPL is doing to improve service.
Renovation at Central Library
Installation of the kiosk across from the circulation desk at central is behind schedule. There are several reasons, but a major one is a delay in approval of the shop drawings because of a reconsideration of the aluminum corner detail. Once that was settled, shop drawings were completed and approved, and the corner element ordered only to find it is out of stock; it’s typically available and in stock, we were told.
We had built in about six weeks of “overlap”, that is, time when we would have the checkout kiosk up and running AND the current circ desk still in operation. We will shorten that time to one to two weeks and still be close to the target completion date of the end of December.
We have decided to take down the wooden partitions in the meantime and they are being taken down this morning. We had previously planned for the first floor desk staffing to end tomorrow, Oct 31, expecting the checkout units would be in place. We will hold to that timing and the first floor desk will be removed next week; we just have a delay on the checkout units.
With the wooden partitions down but the kiosk not yet in place, there are some electrical plates on the floor where the kiosk will be that could become a trip hazard in the meantime. To avoid that happening, we’ll move some furniture there. This means you may see some furniture, plants, whatever, sitting there that looks a bit out of place. We’ll do our best to prevent a trip hazard and make it look at least OK! That seems better than bright orange cones for several weeks!
Central Library Renovation
The tile path from Central Library’s front door now extends all the way to the winding stair leading to the second floor.
Over the coming two weeks, workers will pull wire for power and data lines, install the new checkout kiosk and the 3M Library Systems’ selfcheck equipment. Patrons may be able to use the new check out service by early November.
Want to try out this new service before then? Visit Oshtemo Branch Library or use the checkout kiosk in Central Library’s Children’s Room.
Beginning October 5, we will be making improvements to the Circulation Desk area at Central to take advantage of the new RFID technology and most importantly to better serve you.
The first step is to install new tiles to the spiral staircase. Currently the tile simply ends (think Shel Silverstein) but upon completion it will lead directly to the bottom step. This move paves the way for the Checkout Kiosk, which will allow patrons to check out their own materials.
If you have a question, do not hesitate to contact me.
Central Library renovation