Friday, April 20, 2018

Library Open House revealed exciting new updates to better serve the community by Lorraine Glowczak

Children's Librarian Laurel Parker shows off new infant dpace
The Windham Public Library staff and town officials invited the community to a “Grand Reopening” Open House that included a large spread of refreshments on Thursday, April 12 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. to celebrate the recent library renovations. 
The event began with a welcome and opening remarks by Library Director, Jen Alvino and Town Manager, Tony Plante to a crowd of approximately 35 to 40 library patrons who were eager to see the new updates.

Alvino expressed her gratitude to both the public for their understanding and patience during the renovation process, as well as to the Town Council and Town Manager for their support. Alvino pointed out that the new library renovations contributes extensively to better serve the community needs now and in the future. 

She also shared her appreciation of the library staff. “The renovation process would not have been as successful without the amazing staff’s excitement and ability to adapt to constant changing circumstances.”

Plante also expressed his admiration of Alvino and the staff’s ability to keep the library operating during the updates and the frequent changes with perpetual moving parts. “It was like playing library Tetris,” he began. “The staff’s excitement and upbeat attitude was nothing short of amazing.”

Deanna.Bragan@GorhamHouse.comThe many improvements that help better service the community include one larger circulation desk instead of two. The new desk is on the first floor to accommodate all areas of the library and it comes with an additional work room space. 

Jennifer Dupree, Circulation Supervisor is very happy with the new expanded circulation desk. “With the work room, we now have the space to store returns until either a staff member or a volunteer can return them back to the shelves, creating more space and efficiency.”

There is also a new counter area behind the circulation desk which provides the space for processing and delivery. This updated feature now expedites the delivery of books, CDs and other library materials to the patrons more efficiently. 

Children and teens are also benefiting from the renovations. The children’s room now includes and dedicates a space for infants and operates with a new, easy to follow system.

McKenzie Crossman in the new teen study space
“We now have a color coding system,” explained Laurel Parker, Children’s Librarian. “The colors correspond to the age of the reader. This gives the space a much more orderly flow and makes it easier for the young patron to find what they are looking for.”

Parker also pointed out that the beautiful mural of Babb’s Bridge on the east wall is now in full view. Prior to the renovations, the painting was partially hidden due to shelving. “People are seeing the mural for the first time,” Parker said. “It’s been there for a while but no one could see it until now.” 

The second floor got a few of its own facelifts including a Maine Collections Room that comes with a table and four chairs for study, as well as a high back executive chair for reading. Another addition includes two private study rooms that can hold up to 4 or 5 people at one time.
Teenagers enjoy the new computer space to work on homework improved second floor also comes with a quiet study corner just for teens as well as a table with four computers. “I come here after school often and wait for my dad to pick me up,” began McKenzie Crossman, who used the corner study space to get some of her assignments done before spring break began. “I really like that we [teenagers] have our own space to study and it makes me look forward to coming here. I also like that we can hang out with friends in this new space.”

The three-hour open house was a success, with a steady stream of library patrons, including many of the Windham delegation, to look at the library’s makeover and the new services it is now able to offer.

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