Schusterman-Benson Library will be closed Feb. 8-27 for library improvements.
Today, Central Library has about 90 public computers, including a computer lab, a literacy lab and some hand-held devices. The renovated Central Library will have 120 public computers, including a computer lab that will work as both a traditional computer classroom and as a collaboration space for small group use when there isn’t a regular class scheduled. Public computers will be located on 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors. Free WiFi will be available throughout the facility.
There will be service desks on all three public floors. On the 1st floor (currently 2nd floor) three service desks are planned – one at the entry, one in the children’s area and another in the central area of the floor. 2nd floor will have one service desk and on the 3rd floor, the Research Center will have two service desks – one with the local history room and another in the main area. Staff will be available not only via the service desks, but available to assist customers whether they are looking for materials, at a computer needing assistance, or simply asking for general information. For customers who prefer self-service, interactive maps directing visitors to various areas of the library and digital signage promoting library events and activities will be available.
Research Center will continue to offer specialized services via the Nonprofit Resource Center and a Small Business Center as well as the aforementioned local history room.
Media materials – movies and music – will be available on 1st floor along with new adult fiction and non-fiction books and teen materials. The children’s and family area will be larger than it is today but still a space that engages and captivates the library’s youngest users and their parents. The fuller collection of adult fiction and non-fiction books as well as magazines and large print books will be located on 2nd floor.
The Ruth G. Hardman Adult Literacy Department on the 2nd floor and will continue to offer services for adult learners. New tutors are trained and new literacy students go through testing and registration at Central, but students and their tutors meet all across the county, often in branch libraries.
A year ago several focus group sessions were held. At those, we learned more meeting space is needed at Central Library – for literacy tutors & students, for small study groups, for individuals who desire a quiet place to read, study and learn. With the renovation the library will gain four small group meeting rooms (8-10 people) with interactive multi-touch display units, two each on 2nd and 3rd floors, as well as six small meeting rooms (2-4 people) on 2nd floor. Tables and chairs for small groups and individuals will be available on all three public floors. In addition to these more individual spaces, a combined use storytime room and meeting room on 1st floor and Aaronson Auditorium on the lower level (currently 1st floor), but with more space and better equipped for programs.