Redesign of Anacortes Public Library to be discussed

December 6, 2018
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Plans for the teen area of the Anacortes Public Library include enclosing the space to allow for normal conversation.

ANACORTES — Anacortes Public Library staff are inviting city residents to dream big when it comes to a new library.

At a series of upcoming meetings, library staff are asking the public to suggest design elements for four spaces at the library: a children’s reading room, a media experience room, a makers’ space and a teen room.

On Thursday, library Director Ruth Barefoot and Anacortes Mayor Laurie Gere will facilitate a design discussion at the library to overview what staff are hoping to accomplish through the project.

Meetings digging into the design details will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 10, 17, 24, and 31 at the library.

The ideas being tossed around so far range from a toddler-sized tunnel entrance to the children’s reading room, to supplying sewing machines and soldering irons in the makers’ space, Barefoot said.

The goal of the redesign is to create room for additional programming including multimedia, Barefoot said.

“There’s been nonstop requests for programming that we don’t have the space for right now,” she said.

The library won’t be getting rid of any books to make room for the redesign, she said.

Funding for the project will come through fundraising, library maintenance funds and limited city money, Barefoot said.

Most of the proposed changes are intended to draw people into the library and make it a place they can spend time comfortably.

In the children’s space, Barefoot said the design should ignite all the senses.

“We want kids to see it from afar and say ‘Wow, mom, I want to go there,’” she said.

For a teen-centered room, it’s all about making teens feel safe and secure, Barefoot said. The room should be enclosed so teens don’t have to modulate their voices, and there should be counters for laptops.

Barefoot also has visions of lounge chairs and teens being able to bring in snacks and drinks.

The media experience room will be all about allowing people to learn through as many mediums as possible, including audio and video.

“We need a space where people (learn through multimedia) as often as they walk down the stacks and pull out a hard copy,” Barefoot said.

The makers’ space originated in the library’s 2016 strategic plan, which acknowledged that people like to tinker while they learn, Barefoot said.

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