Ashland Public Library Plans Major Renovation

April 1, 2016

Ashland Public Library Plans Major Renovation

Ashland, OH, March 31, 2016– The staff and board of the Ashland Public Library are excited to announce an upcoming interior renovation of the first floor and meeting spaces of the library. Construction is scheduled to commence May 2 and is expected to be completed at the beginning of July. This is the first major renovation in 30 years and the goal is to create a community atmosphere that fosters a stop-and-stay mindset but also efficiently meets the needs of those folks on the go.

This renovation is made possible through two substantial donations from separate estates generously given for the improvement of the library. The catalyst for the plans to renovate came in 2005, when Ines Page bequeathed a sum of $600,000 towards unspecified improvements. In 2013 and 2014, a second gift of $700,000 was bestowed upon the library by the estate of Nancy Stockwell. This second donation cemented the plan to overhaul the dated, but well-utilized library interior.

Plans include the creation of a unified customer service desk where individuals can complete a range of transactions, a dedicated youth story-time center and playroom, an expanded meeting space for public use, and an increase of seating throughout the library for visitors to enjoy the space and materials. Lower shelving units, updated furniture, additional public computers, and a reorganization of material locations will combine with the new paint and carpeting to enhance the great atmosphere created by the staff at the library. Some structural and electrical work will also be completed. BCU Electric, Inc., an Ashland business, won the bid for the electrical updates and Library Design Associates, Inc. will handle the majority of the remaining remodel.

The library will continue normal operating hours during the overhaul, although there may be situations that require minimal unexpected closures with short-term notice, due to the nature of large construction projects. An Express Library featuring the newest titles and releases will be located on the lower level of the library in the large meeting room. Beginning April 28, members will be able to browse the selection in the Express Library, place holds on the materials through the online catalog, and request additional materials through an interlibrary loan. The library will still offer the use of public computers, however, due to limited space they will have a 15-minute time limit. A public copy machine, as well the use of the printers, will be available in the Express Library and we will continue to offer free Wi-Fi. There will be staff on hand to assist all members and visitors.

In addition to the Express Library, our Bookmobile has added additional Ashland stops to their summer schedule to provide maximum access for the community. All members are encouraged to place holds on the materials and can do so via the online catalog, over the telephone, and in-person through library staff. The main library entrance will be closed; all visitors will access through the rear entrance with parking also available in the rear of the building and in the adjacent city parking lot. Handicap accessible spots will be added at the rear entrance.

This renovation rounds out the library’s strategic plan that was implemented and executed in 2015-2016. During this time, the library has worked towards improving customer service by joining the SEO consortium, which expanded the amount of material available for members and provided access to 90 other libraries with one card. Members also saw improvements in borrowing limits, fines, and the addition of Quick Picks – newest releases that have a 7-day loan, no holds or renewals policy that ensure faster turnover and greater availability. As always, the library has continually provided introductory training in today’s ever-changing technological landscape, for all ages, members and non-members.

The library has also broken new ground by converting to a Dewey Lite shelving system for the non-fiction items. The books are now grouped by subject, coined “Neighborhoods” with the content within grouped by “Streets” and the subsequent Street content is organized by its Dewey decimal number. Fiction is now grouped by genre and shelved alphabetically by author within the genre sections. This shelving system is designed to facilitate the browsers, while still allowing the folks looking for a particular book to locate it within the stacks. Ashland Public Library is the first library in Ohio to adapt this system.

For those wanting a souvenir of the library or perhaps just looking for a good deal, the library will host a Cash-and-Carry tag sale from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 30. Much of the furniture, existing counters, lighting fixtures, and miscellaneous items will be up for sale. Cash, check, or money order will be accepted and buyers must be prepared to haul away their purchases by 1:00 p.m. the day of the sale.

A ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for the grand opening, with more details to be provided closer to the date, and we hope the Ashland community will join us in celebrating this new public space of ideas, inspiration, and information. William Rutger, Ashland Public Library’s Director, is available to answer questions regarding the renovation and, as always, library staff members will be happy to assist visitors with any of their needs while at the library.

Click here to view the new layout. You can also view the sample boards that display the materials and furniture styles for both the general and youth areas. Here is an online article regarding the renovation published by Ashland Source. Contact the Ashland Public Library for more information at 419-289-8188.

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