The Carson City Library will be closed for seven to eight weeks, probably during the upcoming holidays.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is the doors will be shut so the facility can undergo a much-needed makeover.
“We’re not immune to those comments on Yelp, Facebook,” said Sena Loyd, library director. “‘It’s a great library, but it looks old.’”
And while the building at the corner of Roop and Washington streets is shuttered library staff plan to continue limited operations in various pop-up locations around town.
The library’s transformation started last month, when Tru Coverage Painting painted the building’s exterior, which was last painted about 20 years ago, said Loyd.
Now, a contract is being finalized to redo all the floors in the public area of the library’s first floor, removing worn carpeting and replacing it with stained concreted.
The installation involves grinding concrete and a lot of dust so the entire library collection has to be removed from the building and everything that remains, such as computers and the machine that sorts books, tightly wrapped to prevent damage.
“We have over 80,000 items and we have to move them out in order so they can be moved back in order,” said Loyd. “We have over 6,000 linear feet of shelving we have to move at the same time.”
The collection will be stored in at least five 8 x 8 x 20 foot mobile storage units in the library parking lot, said Diane Baker, department business manager.
That process will take the library staff 10 days to remove the items prior to work starting and 10 days to move them all back once the renovation is complete.
The tentative timeframe for closure is from mid-December through the end of January, when the library will have a soft opening to iron out the kinks, said Loyd. A grand reopening is planned for February.
There will be more than refreshed paint and new floors to see.
“We asked our staff for ideas on how to put everything back in the building in a better way,” said Loyd.
The new layout was approved by the Library Board of Trustees at its September meeting.
Adult fiction, for example, will be moved to the opposite corner of the building, where the Nevada reference collection is now, and a youth area with books and play area put in its place.
The state reference collection will be moved to where DVDs and CDs are now located and the media collection moved to what is now the nonfiction space, to be shared with several smaller collections, including large print and Spanish language books.
The nonfiction will go into the building addition, where children’s books are now located, along with a new adult maker space.
That space will house a 3D printer, laser cutter and soldering stations and host a monthly maker in residence and various workshops.
In the breezeway between the two portions of the building will be computers and a bar for laptop users.
In the meantime, staff will operate pop-up locations with the library’s small collection of new books and media that it leases rather than owns.
Temporary libraries are expected to be hosted for five to six weeks in The Studio at the Adams Hub, the conference room at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension in the Northgate Complex, the Carson City Community Center, and possibly other locations.
The library will publicize the schedule once its ready on its website and Facebook page, on movie screens at the Casino Fandango, and on its electronic sign on Roop Street, which was recently lit up again after two years with the help of the Friends of the Library.
The library also plans to solicit recommendations for a list of books for Carson City, like lists of 100 books to read before you die or must-read classics, which they’ll launch at the grand reopening.
With a grant from the state, the library will add the entire list in different formats to its collection.
“It’s books that resonate with our community,” said Loyd. “Books that the community says are important to them and important for others to read.”