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Library starts new chapter to prepare for “Your Library Reimagined”

By Staff | May 24, 2017

Sanibel Public Library has embarked on the first phase of the “Your Library Reimagined” project. During the week of May 29 through June 2 the building will be closed to the public while the interior is being prepared for the project. The library will reopen Saturday, June 2, from 9 a.m. till 1 p.m.

The facility is being reconfigured in order to continue providing library services during remodeling. During the summer, a portion of the building will be closed to the public while the infrastructure is updated. The library will provide service through most of the renovation period, but will occasionally have to close for a day or two when there is utility or plumbing work.

“The goal is to create more space, appeal, and usefulness for library users. The top priority is the community’s needs and expectations,” said Sanibel Public Library Executive Director Margaret Mohundro.

The Sanibel Public Library began with a group of volunteers in the 1960s and is currently in its third home, at 770 Dunlop Road, which opened in 1994. In 2004, the building was expanded to its current size. Both the beauty and the quality of the structure are outstanding, but it is time to replace much of the infrastructure. HVAC, fire suppression, plumbing, lighting, technology and flooring are being upgraded for greater efficiency; sustainable design features are included as well.

“As the infrastructure update was planned, we looked at the use of the building, and how that use has changed, especially in the past several years,” Mohundro said.

Sanibel Public Library Board of Commissioners is responding to these ever-changing needs-while keeping the good-with a focus on fresh, new, dynamic services.

Reconfiguring of the interior includes a user-centered service design with flexible, multi-purpose spaces for reading and research, collaboration, multiple technology access points, children’s storytime space, and more. The project has been in planning since early 2015, with public input gathered via focus groups and public meetings. The Library Board has set a budget of $5.9 million. The cost for this project will be covered by Library reserves, grants, and gifts. The new design reflects much of the input received from Sanibel residents at community meetings held last year.

The project has been carefully planned to minimize impacts to library services, however all Library services might not be available at all times. Some popular features-like the monthly art exhibits, shell displays, and puzzle table area-will be impacted. Most meeting rooms will not be available during the remodel. Updates to the project will be announced in local newspapers, on the library’s website, and through social media.