The Johnson City Public Library will be closed July 25-29 for renovations and improvements, including the creation of a new media center, public computer center and study rooms.
Completion of the work is tentatively scheduled for mid-September, but the library should only be closed during this initial phase of construction which includes the installation of new power boxes on the floor.
The library will re-open Saturday, July 30.
An approximately $120,000 grant received through the Tennessee State Library for Recovery Act Investments will allow some much-needed improvements on the facility’s second floor.
“The new public computer center will provide additional computers in a training-friendly environment,” said Bob Swanay, Johnson City Public Library director. “There will be a total of about 30 computers. But instead of being scattered around, where people were facing different directions, they now will facing the same direction. The other set-up made it virtually impossible to do group training on computers.”
Swanay said a big-screen “smart board” will be placed in the middle of a curved portion of a newly constructed wall in front of the computers where information will scroll or be posted regarding library information. The screen also will be used by trainers.
“We did some strategic planning in 2009 and already had committed to this before the grant came through last year,” he said. “The media center will be located on the other side of the curved wall. This was another need identified in 2009. It will basically be a one-stop shopping center for all things non-print.”
Swanay said the media center will include the stocking of eBooks, which are picking up a lot of traction, and the library’s R.E.A.D.S. database is being used increasingly more and works in conjunction with devices such as MP3 players, iPods and Nook Readers.
“The Regional Ebook and Audiobook Download System allows our patrons to download digital versions of print books and digital audio books to their home computers and certain portable audio players,” he said.
Library patrons also can access the resources of the EBSCO Auto Repair Reference Center, CQ Researcher, Heritage Quest, the Tennessee Electronic Library, and World Book Online either in the library or from their home computer.
Swanay said he does not expect further closures at the library after July 29, though the second-floor computers and reference desk will be temporarily relocated.
Tony Street, with Johnson City’s Beeson Lusk & Street is the architect on the job. The company also provided architectural services for construction of the library, which opened in 1999. Preston Construction Co., also from Johnson City, is the general contractor.
The JCPL is located at 100 West Millard St. Visit their website at www.jcl.net or call 434-4450.