Reopening soon: Library’s children’s department flooring nearly done

A section of the Bartholomew County Public Library that has been closed for a month due to flooring work is expected to be back up and running soon.

“The children’s department should be reopening sometime middle of next week,” said library director Jason Hatton. “I’m hoping for Wednesday. Everything looks great with the flooring, we’re just waiting on the movers right now to come back and get everything moved back in again.”

Additionally, the Friends of the Library Book Sale area is back in service with new carpet and new artwork, library staff said.

The library flooring project, as a whole, is expected to be complete in September, Hatton said.

The next areas to undergo work will be the teen department and the reference department. These closures are expected to last about three weeks and start next week, with movers starting on the two sections once they’re finished with the children’s section.

Library staff are recommending that patrons check out or place holds on any teen or nonfiction materials they want by the end of this week.

During the closure, the teen desk will be near the library’s front windows, on the left-hand side of those entering the building. The reference department will be located in the DVD area, in the same place where children’s services and materials have been located amid the section’s closure.

“I think we’re going to be able to have most of the computers moved over as well, so we should have all those services available, plus the scanner,” said Hatton. “So the main pieces will be most of the nonfiction collection will be inaccessible for the duration. And like I said, we’ll have some teen collection, services, programs, those sorts of things should still be available.”

He added that the library will still be able to help patrons access nonfiction items via the Hope branch or interlibrary loans.

Once the flooring work is done in these areas, the library plans to move the teen section to the opposite side of the building so that it is in front of the Indiana Room, which is proposed to become the new home of teen department staff and teen programming, said Hatton.

The library’s board of trustees is expected to vote on these changes at their meeting Monday as part of a final report from the teen materials subcommittee. The meeting will be held at 4 p.m. in the library’s Red Room.

Hatton added that while the teen section is expected to move to its new home upon its reopening, staff would not move into the Indiana Room until work is finished on the library’s elevator, said Hatton. The room is currently being used as the library’s main programming space in order to provide accessibility.

The library’s elevator stopped working on March 24 but has since been fixed. Nevertheless, the library still plans to replace the device and has contracted a company for this project.

Hatton said that while they don’t have an official date, they expect the elevator be down for “modernization” in October.

The current elevator is original to the building, which opened in 1969, according to library records.