Phase 1 Construction Begins Soon! – FAQs

In the next week or so we will begin to see construction within the library as one of the first major phases of our Facilities Master Plan. Some collections have already moved in preparation of construction and if we haven’t started getting questions yet, we will very shortly. Below is a list of anticipated questions with answers. If you have any further questions please feel free to let me know.

What’s happening?
There are three major components of this construction project (which is phase one of our Facilities Master Plan). They are:

  • Café pass through – We are creating a doorway from the café that will lead into our current New Books section. This will allow people to move more easily between the café and the rest of the building.
  • Collaborative workspaces – We are creating 8 new collaborative workspaces that are geared towards groups of 2-6 people. The rooms will have chairs, a table, and a computer and monitor suitable for presentations.
  • North Reading Room – We will be putting doors onto the entrances to the North Reading Room to help block out sounds from the rest of the library. We will also be adding our magazines and newspapers along with suitable shelving.

Why are you doing this?

  • Café pass through – This will open up circulation throughout the building. It will highlight the café to people in the main part of the building who may not have realized it existed.  We will also have appropriate seating in the New Books area that will allow people to get a coffee in the café and have comfortable seating nearby in addition to the tables in the café.
  • Collaborative workspaces – We have a large number of groups that would like to have space that is a little more private than the tables in the Reference Room, but don’t need a formal meeting room. These spaces will be ideal for things like small group meetings, job interviews, book discussion groups, and more.
  • North Reading Room – The new doors will help reduce noise in the North Reading Room. The movement of the magazines reflects the fact that this space is used for quiet reading and research, which fits well with our periodicals collection.  There is enough space in the North Reading to accommodate these activities.  The current periodicals room is relatively large for our current periodicals use, and the availability and use of print periodicals in the future will most likely continue to decline.  This will free up the current periodicals room for a new and improved Learning Lab.

When will the construction be done?
Construction will most likely begin the week of May 1st, but it could begin as soon as April 26th.  We’ll have more details soon.  The entire project should be done by October 1st. The first part of construction will involve putting doors onto the North Reading Room. Creation of the collaborative workspaces will start shortly thereafter and will last the majority of the construction project. Work on the café pass through will begin roughly in the middle of June and will be completed near the end of August. All of these times and dates are tentative.

Where can I go to find a quiet space during construction?

  • Topeka Room
  • Ends of wings
  • Periodicals room
  • Empty meeting rooms (we will have a plan for how the public can use these coming soon)
  • North Reading Room

Who came up with this and why?
These projects are all part of the library’s Facilities Master Plan. The Facilities Master Plan was created to maintain the building and improve design issues so that we can maximize people space and improve circulation throughout the building. The Library Board of Trustees set the guidelines for the Facilities Master Plan which are:

  • Maintain optimal conditions and operation of the building, its site, systems, furnishings, technology and other physical infrastructure.
  • Preserve and increase public space to support learning, literacy, and civic engagement.
  • Preserve the library building’s architectural integrity and character.
  • Improve people’s ability to use the service, programs, collections, and learning experiences provided by a twenty-first century library.
  • Exercise good stewardship of public and private resources in maintaining and improving the building, its site, systems, furnishings, technology and other physical infrastructure.

The Facilities Master Plan was created by library staff in cooperation with Tevis Architects.  It was presented to and approved by the Library Board in 2016. A copy of the plan can be found at

Since there is a pass through in the café, will the café be open all the hours the library is open?
This has yet to be determined, but we will let you know as soon as a decision has been made.

I like having my own private study room.
We have a great deal of demand for smaller collaborative workspaces and we have had several security issues related to the private study rooms. Remodeling these rooms will help solve both of these issues. We do have several quiet areas that are excellent spaces for private study. There are several “nooks” in the North Reading Room that allow one person to sit in a similar space to what was available in the old study rooms, just without doors. There are other quiet areas throughout the library, including the rest of the North Reading Room, the Topeka Room, and at the ends of the Wings.

What will happen to the collections that were moved?
Most of the collections will go back to their previous locations once construction is complete. The exceptions are:

  • Reference will remain in the West Wing
  • Jobs & Careers will remain in their new location
  • Adult Learner will remain in the new location

What is the next construction project and when will it occur?
Our next project will be the new café courtyard on the southwest side of the building. We will most likely begin construction in the fall of 2017, probably around the time that construction on this phase is finishing up.

Design Drawings
Collaborative Workspaces

North Reading Room

Cafe Pass Through

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