Library plans a makeover

Staff Writer

The flagship branch of the Auglaize County Libraries is set for a new look come spring, as the Wapakoneta Central Library received bids last week for an upcoming renovation.

The project will be the first major upgrade to the facility since the branch opened in March of 1968 — nearly 50 years ago.

The Library District received bids from two contractors last week, and is opening one more round of bidding before a highly anticipated start to construction in December.

The primary goal, Director of the Auglaize County system Beth Steiner said, is to bring the library in line with modern times.

"Libraries have changed," she said. "We're not warehouses for books anymore. We offer so many services."

"The layout of this building is great, it's a large open space, but that means the sound travels," Steiner added. "Libraries aren't quiet places anymore, so what we're doing is creating quiet spaces. Now kids can come in and they can play and interact and it doesn't have to be a quiet space."

The updates will also provide the wide variety of services offered the necessary space to function and alleviate scheduling conflicts the staff often has to work around.

"We have adult services, youth services, teen services, computer and IT classes that all operate at the same time," Steiner said. "Currently we only have the one large room in the basement and a board room that seats 12 very tightly. We try and fit all the programing into those little rooms."

When the project is done, there will be seven different rooms to host programing and events. There will also be two small studying and tutoring rooms that will be available to the public.

The finalized plan comes after...

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