Library undertakes renovation of children’s area, carpet
The primary goal of the project is to expand the usable space in the children’s area by removing the dividing wall, allowing the entire children’s department to feel more open and welcoming and allow for more versatile program options. The open configuration of the children’s space will allow for additional seating, the use of literacy-enhancing activities, and more efficient use of the space for programming. Creation of a visual demarcation between the adult and children’s portions of the library through the utilization of shelving, carpeting, hanging safety glass dividers, and a decorative entrance will support this sense of identity as a children’s space. A secondary goal of the project is to install new carpet throughout the library.
In 2015, as part of the library’s strategic planning, several goals and objectives were identified to focus library efforts and guide administrative decisions. The library’s mission statement, adopted at the same time, supports these goals.
“The Orange City Public Library is enriching a vibrant community by providing a comfortable space for the community to discover their roots, express creativity, and celebrate diversity through literacy, information, and technology.”
A primary theme throughout the strategic goals and mission statement is to provide “safe, welcoming physical places to meet and interact with others.” In support of these goals, the northeast corner of the library was recently renovated. This renovation doubled the number of meeting rooms available for public use and provided new furnishings for the adult reading area and teen area to provide a more welcoming community gathering space serving adult and teen patrons. The library now turns its focus to creating an excellent children’s area featuring a new layout, furnishings, age appropriate toys, and literacy-enhancing activities. The Orange City Public Library contracted with George Lawson, a library planner, in December 2015 to document existing conditions of the children’s space and discuss broad concepts for improvement.
Two conceptual plans were generated to address the library’s desire to create a distinct identity for the children’s space, allow for higher utilization of the space as a program room, and allow for the integration of early childhood learning stations. These conceptual plans were presented to staff and the board of trustees in early 2016. In discussions with library staff, a preferred plan was conceived that combined portions of each of the two initial options.
The preferred plan creates a visual demarcation between the children’s and adult portions of the library. This is achieved by utilizing shelving, carpeting, hanging safety glass dividers, and a decorative entrance to support this sense of identity. This plan will also expand the usable space in the children’s area by removing the dividing wall, allowing the entire children’s department to feel more open and welcoming. The open configuration of the children’s space will also allow for additional seating, the use of literacy-enhancing activities, and more efficient use of the space for programming. We aim to include activities that enhance important developmental skills such as letter recognition and fine motor skills into the new children’s area.
The full scope of the project will take place in October, with the library closed from October 23 to October 28 while new carpet is installed. The total estimated cost of the children’s area renovation and carpet is $112,000. The library is seeking outside funding through grants and gifts, and has already secured a $16,000 grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust. The main cost of the project will be paid out of the library fund, while maintaining an acceptable reserve balance. Please contact Library Director, Amanda Vazquez, with any questions about the project.