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Second Floor Renovations

The Carbondale Library will be doing a partial renovation of their second floor space in preparation for their 145th Anniversary.  Redesigned spaces will focus on community areas as well as quiet study spaces.  The Library is working with J. P. Jay Associates for the redesign, Scott Postlethwait for painting, and Yeselavage for flooring.


Ideas for the renovation began in 2017 with the goal of making the second floor more open and inviting.  We wanted to create a safer environment by creating a visual sightline from the elevator to the back door – something our current 10-foot tall shelves do not allow.  Originally, we were just going to turn the tall shelves 90 degrees to create that sightline and look into mobile shelving for the Young Adult collection which could be moved when we wanted extra space for programs.

However, around this time, a generous donation was bequeathed to the Library in memory of Robert Vandenberg – a lifetime resident of the City of Carbondale and former Carbondale Library Board Member and President. After much debate, it was decided to use the donation to fund a much needed renovation of the second floor.

What to expect:

Those 10-foot shelves are going to be cut in half; about five foot tall.  This is because the nonfiction is moving into the current Children’s Room.  The Children’s Room will be moving out and taking over much of the main area of the second floor.  The main area will be opened up into a community center with a designated Teen Area, Children’s Area, and a community space which can be used for programming and noisier activities.

What is currently the Children’s Room will become the Nonfiction/Reference Room and will be a designated quiet area in the Library.  Tables and chairs will be available for reading, tutoring, homework, etc.

The circulation desk will remain the same but the Children’s Librarian will be moving her area into the space next to the elevator.  Access to the Local History and Genealogy Room will be available as this area will also remain as is.

Most of the second floor will be repainted in a sandy brown color with terra cotta accent walls.  New curtains will be installed in the Community Room and in the Nonfiction Room.  More dramatically, the floors are being covered with a dark wood tile; farewell old, faded, green and pink carpet!!!

Access in the coming months:

Our goal is to have the renovations complete by May in time for the Library’s 145th Anniversary.   Beginning this week, the second floor will be closed off to the public as we begin renovations.  A temporary “children’s area” will be set up downstairs for browsing and programs.  Public restrooms will not be accessible during renovations.  We will do our best to provide a variety of items but, some library materials will not be available during renovations.  We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

After months of planning, the Library is finally ready to move forward (assuming Father Winter does not create any more delays.)  We can’t wait to get started on creating a more open and inviting space.  We hope you can join us this spring when we unveil our updated second floor.

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