Escanaba library gets makeover

Jordan Beck | Daily Press Escanaba resident Melissa Krysa uses a laptop in the Escanaba Public Library. A “spruce-up project” is currently ongoing at the library.

ESCANABA — Residents will notice some changes at the Escanaba Public Library — the result of an ongoing project.

“I would call it a ‘spruce-up project,'” Library Director Carolyn Stacey said.

The goal of the project is to refresh the library’s interior. The library has been in its current location for almost 25 years.

The library sought public feedback while getting ready for the project.

“We had a public survey … several months prior to the project to gather people’s ideas about things they liked about the library and changes they wanted to see,” Stacey said.

One of the biggest changes made as part of the project was the replacement of the library’s flooring. Stacey said the library can receive up to 400 visitors per day; as a result, its carpet — which had not been replaced since the building was constructed — needed an upgrade. To this end, high-quality, durable carpet tiles were installed in the library.

Other changes made at the library as part of the project were meant to reflect how people use libraries today.

“Libraries have changed a great deal in the 25 years the building has been here,” Stacey said.

One of these changes was the establishment of a media library, which features the library’s film, audiobook and music collections in a single location. Stacey said the change was meant to make accessing these collections more convenient for library patrons.

“The film collection is one of the most popular collections in the library,” she said.

The library’s reference desk has been moved to the former location of the film collection, and the library’s computers have been re-organized into “pods.”

Stacey said many of these changes have helped make the library feel more spacious.

“We really opened up the space — I think that’s what’s immediately evident,” she said.

Along with these changes, the library’s ceiling lighting has been upgraded to be more energy-efficient. Lamps have been placed around the library, as well.

The library closed for the week of May 20 so these changes could be implemented. It re-opened after Memorial Day; as of Monday, some parts of the project had not yet been completed.

One improvement that is still in the works is the creation of a space for tweens and teenagers visiting the library.

“One of the things we’re most excited about is our new young adult area,” Stacey said.

The young adult area — located on the library’s east wall behind the children’s section — will feature the library’s young adult collection, comfortable seating, a study table and two iPads.

Things that still have to be done at the library also include ensuring all materials have been placed in their correct location and order, putting the library’s genealogy area back together, establishing additional “reading nooks” and completing work on the library’s book sale room. The latter space will also host groups for small meetings and programs.

People will be able to celebrate the improvements made to the library in conjunction with another event.

“We are going to do a grand re-opening on June 12 (connected) with the Friends of the Library’s ice cream social and book sale,” Stacey said.

Stacey voiced her appreciation to people in the area.

“We’d like to thank the public for their patience during this process and we hope they find the changes worthwhile,” she said.