Library reopening Saturday

Whoa! If you’re anxious to celebrate the “grand reopening” of the North Olympic Library System’s Sequim branch, you’ll have to wait another week. The page A1 article omitted that the celebration is set for Saturday, April 25 from 1-4 p.m. at 630 N. Sequim Ave.

The newly renovated Sequim branch library will reopen Saturday with more comfortable seating, a teen area, fun and colorful children's area and new express checkout stations plus fresh paint and carpeting.

The "grand reopening celebration" is set for 1-4 p.m. Saturday, with a short program beginning at 1:30 p.m., at 630 N. Sequim Ave. Friends of the Sequim Library will provide refreshments.

"We hope the community will come to the library on Saturday to celebrate the reopening of this important public space," said North Olympic Library System board chairwoman Sue Cohn.

"This project represents a strong partnership between the library and the Friends of the Library, and it certainly wouldn't have been possible without the extraordinary generosity of Helen Claire Adams," she said.

The $473,000 renovation project was funded by a $190,000 bequest from the estate of longtime library patron and Sequim resident Helen Claire Adams plus $150,000 from the Friends of the Sequim Library, and $133,000 from the North Olympic Library System's capital improvement fund.

Work included moving the tall shelving in the main reading area to allow more natural light and open up the views to the south and east.

It also included installing a moveable partition in the community meeting room so two groups can use the room at the same time.

A new teen area was built in the building's southwest corner, all the public computers were consolidated in one place and a new "civic information center" will offer government documents, voter registration and tax information.

Books in large print and books on CD were moved adjacent to comfortable seating areas. The children's area was outfitted with child-sized furniture and a comfortable window seat for parents and children to share books together.

The building received a new heat pump, repaired skylights, upgraded telephone and fire alarm systems, a new public copy machine operated by Pacific Office Equipment and two new express check-out stations.

Once it reopens, the library will resume its regular hours of 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; noon-8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays; and closed Sundays.

The renovation followed a long decision-making process.

From 2006 to 2007, the North Olympic Library System's board of trustees, Friends of Sequim Library and a citizen advisory committee studied a possible bond issue to expand the Sequim branch.

They concluded that a bond issue should be put on hold until the library system can increase its levy rate to support ongoing operations and fund the higher operating costs of a larger branch.

In early 2008, the North Olympic Library System's board of trustees decided to renovate the 6,000-square-foot building.

Hoch Construction of

Sequim was selected in November 2008 to do the work.

Construction began in mid-December and a temporary closure began on Jan. 20, although customers were able to pick up books and other materials "on hold" on a limited basis until March 17.

Then the library closed completely for the final phase of construction.

Brian Gawley can be reached at bgawley@

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