By Travis Mounts
You’ll have to excuse librarian Susan Woodard if she seems giddy this week. She’s full of excitement about the new look of the Cheney Public Library, and she hopes the community will be as excited at this Saturday’s grand re-opening.
The public is invited to see the new and expanded library at this Saturday’s open house, which will be held 6-9 p.m. The library will remain closed until then.
Work has been going on since March to remodel the second floor, which had been used just for storage. It will now house the young adult section and feature a coffee bar along with a lounge and study area for all patrons. There will be a cappuccino machine in the coffee bar, and the library will feature wi-fi Internet access throughout the building.
A sneak peek at work revealed hanging light fixtures, bistro tables in the coffee bar area, and lounge furniture near the east windows. New wood trim was chosen to match original trim that remains at the west end of the second floor. Woodard will have an office upstairs featuring the original door, trim and doorknob.
Another visual highlight is the sliding doors that separate the main room from the back stairway. Fire codes don’t allow the doors to be closed, so they have been anchored in place partially open to show the intricate detail.
That work is now completed, and Woodard said she’s excited to see how the public reacts.
“It doesn’t look like a library, and that’s what we wanted,” Woodard said. “We want people to walk in and say ‘wow!’”
She’s also being very cautious about maintaining the suspense until Saturday. She said even the library board members have yet to see the work.
And the work isn’t finished. With the upstairs ready to go and books and furniture in place, the library staff began working on Saturday to revamp the main floor. Books and shelves are being moved,
there is new paint to go on the walls, and the young children’s area will have a brand new look before the first private open houses on Thursday and Friday.
The library will continue to be closed through the weekend except for Saturday’s public open house.
Regular hours will resume on Monday. The Times-Sentinel will post some additional “sneak peek” photographs on our Facebook page between now and Saturday.