[ By KATE LEWIS ]
[ HUTCHINSON PUBLIC LIBRARY ]
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — “We’re knocking another hole in the wall,” Gregg Wamsley, Hutchinson Public Library Director, said. “We’ve recognized for quite some time the need to provide more streamlined service to our patrons, and we are now working towards that with a new service desk, plus adding more places to sit, a coffee bar, and large picture window.”
Currently the library has two desks, the circulation desk and information desk, and these two desks will be combined. Staff will be trained to help patrons with a variety of services, including circulation, computer lab, and general information. Reference will still be located on the second floor.
“Patrons have asked for more places to sit and read, updated décor, and fresh brewed coffee available in the library. By moving the service desk to the center of the room, space is opened up for both a new seating area and self-serve coffee bar. Plans include a new cafe-style seating area, cabinetry, new carpet, and a large picture window on the north side of the library. New Items will be located in the new seating area, and Reserved Books will be behind the service desk. The copier and printer tables will also be combined. Self-check Out will be on both sides of the service desk, and Self-check In will be located by the new seating area, just inside the Main Street entrance.
Construction will begin sometime in early October, and is estimated to take about seven to eight weeks. During construction, a temporary service desk will be by the computer lab. Reserves and new items will be moved behind the computer area. Construction debris and materials will primarily be moved in and out of the hole in the wall to minimize disruption at the entrance. A plastic curtain will keep dust contained to the construction area.
Kevin Wineinger of Gastinger Walker is the architect for this project, and A&A Construction is the contractor. This construction project is funded from a generous gift from Robert & Neva Jane Upp. Wamsley says, “The Upps were long time supporters of the library, and they wanted their gift to go toward something permanent in the library. The Hutchinson Public Library Board felt that this project was an appropriate use of their gift, and library staff look forward to better helping patrons find what they need.”