LIMA — The Lima Public Library reopened Monday with a crowd after closing for renovations for two weeks.
Gary Fraser, executive director, said they have seen attendance way above the norm, which he anticipated because some people were eager to get back into the library after the closing and some were curious to see the new look.
The closing went better than he thought, Fraser said, but the staff had a lot of work to do Monday because of a high volume of returns, which were four or five times above the normal amount.
Before the renovations, Fraser said the library did not have the infrastructure for today’s technology demands. It had very few electrical outlets and they were all on the walls. The new tables and furniture in the library will have outlets on them.
“The library was not really a place of destination so much as a place that patrons were not staying longer than they needed to,” Fraser said.
He said he hopes the renovations will change this.
The library still has a week worth of renovations to do, but they will not be very intrusive and can all be done while the library is open, Fraser said. Some of the furniture has yet to arrive, some signs need to be put up and the book return needs to be made.
The original budget included $65,000 for signage, but Fraser said they decided to buy fewer signs and so cut that budget by $49,000. He still has plans to put the signs in that weren’t included in the budget but will not be outsourcing it.
Most things are in the same area as before, but a few things have moved. In addition, the library staff made some changes during the renovations, like eliminating books on cassette and games on CD-ROM and alphabetizing the DVDs.
Staff members also did some painting, some weeding and shifted some collections during the renovations.
“We already provide the latest best sellers or the most recent movie releases, we have the most public computers, we have the highest, probably, public Internet access bandwidth Wi-Fi speed, but the patron experience coming in the building obviously needed to be improved,” Fraser said.
The feedback Fraser received Monday was overwhelmingly positive, he said. Most patrons were happy with the changes.