Library keeping books open while building is closed

Although the Sequim Library is closed for renovations, patrons including Aubrey Verstegen and his wife are able to pick up their books.

Patrons can walk into a small portion of the library that is not torn apart or being painted, find books they had put on hold and check them out.

They cannot peruse the shelves but can review materials online and place an order at or over the phone.

Verstegen said the online method of getting books put on hold is easy and efficient.

"My wife requests her books online now, and it's great because it's all ready for you when you show up," he said. "Without the hold system, we wouldn't be able to get these materials."

The North Olympic Library System board of directors decided last year to renovate the branch rather than try to float a bond to expand the library's size. The library's "face-lift," as it's being called, will result in a new layout and a roomier feel, according to Library System Director Paula Barnes.

"We are finding all sorts of little odds and ends hidden underneath or behind some of these bookshelves," said library manager Keitha Owen, indicating dust in some areas had built up since the library's construction in 1983.

"They were just areas no one would be able to get to without moving all the books and shelves out of the way."

Owen said she can see through the shambles of shelving units and desks into the future.

"This renovation is going to be a big asset to patrons of the library and will make it so much easier for people not familiar with the branch to come in and feel welcome," she said.

Improvements will include new interior paint, new carpet, modern furnishings and a general reorganization that will include open areas so the building doesn't feel cramped.

The renovation also adds a new heat pump, resealing skylights, a new phone system, a resealed parking lot and possibly new signage.

Friends of the Sequim Library donated $150,000 for the project, and the library system is adding $60,500. The library recently received a $190,000 donation from the Cameron and Helen Adams family, which will be used for the renovation,

"Unfortunately, while we are closed we will not be having public or club meetings in the meeting room," Owen said.

"But we are doing the hold system for books, and people can pick up their tax paperwork at either the (Sequim-Dungeness) Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center or Sequim's City Hall."

Owen said the library will have a grand reopening party, which could be in March although completion dates for construction projects are difficult to forecast.

"We'll make sure everyone knows when to check out the new look of the library," she said.

Reach Evan McLean at emclean@

Patrons of the Sequim Library can put books on hold while the branch is closed by visiting or calling the branch directly at 683-1161 from 1-4 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday. Books can be picked up at the library during the same hours and days after an automated call lets patrons know their book is ready.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 26
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates