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NFM Library to soon move to temporary location

By Staff | Aug 29, 2017

Let the countdown begin.

The North Fort Myers Library, which has served the people of this area for decades, will soon be no more.

The library will move to a temporary location in two weeks, were it will remain for nearly two years until the brand-new library is built next to the old one.

The library will relocate to a temporary location nearby at 50 Pine Island Road North, in the strip mall behind the old Buddy Freddy’s.

The current 9,000-square-foot library will close at 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 9, and reopen in the temporary facility at noon Tuesday, Sept. 12. Materials can be returned to the book drop at the temporary location beginning 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 9.

Pam Keyes, Lee County Library System director, said the old library served its purpose well and that the wait will be worthwhile for the new location.

“This is a great opportunity for the community and for the library system as a whole. It’s unusual to be able to build two new facilities (Bonita Springs), and we are excited to see the next step,” Keyes said. “At the temporary location, we’re going to try to keep our services going. It will be well worth it for our patrons to continue to use the facility until the new one is built.”

“It indicates progress with the project and we’ve been preparing for the transition for several months,” said Mindi Simon, manager of Technology & Continuing Education at the Lee County Library System. “We’re hoping the transition will be smooth and that we offer many of the same services.

During construction, the temporary site will offer many of the basic services as the old one: 12 public computers, a printer and copier, holds pickup, new materials, popular materials (books and DVDs), a youth programming area and reference services.

“I was super-excited we were able to carve out an area for youth programs. It’s important we keep in touch with our community, and for the youth, we’re happy to keep those programs going,” Simon said.

The temporary location won’t have as many materials because of space (about 15,000) but it will have the popular titles, Simon said.

With the exception of being closed on Mondays, the temporary location’s hours will remain the same as the current library.

The temporary library will be open Tuesday from noon to 8 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Construction of the new library will begin after demolition of the current facility. The new library will be about 25,000 square feet and is expected to open in the summer of 2019. The estimated cost of the project is $12.5 million, paid from existing library fund balances.

There is no date set for the groundbreaking of the new library, or for the demolition of the old one, Keyes said.

The Lee County Library System serves Lee County with books, downloadable e-books, digital content, Books-by-Mail, a bookmobile, e-sources, music and films, programs and meeting space.