Library moves out so expansion can begin

Moving day in Soldotna

Terri Burdick and the staff of the Joyce K. Carver Soldotna Public Library have started to move in to the temporary location in the Peninsula Center Mall this week. The temporary location will open June 4.

 

While not every book in the about 24,000-book collection will be making the trip across town, about 7,500 books will be. The temporary space is about 2,100 square feet, while the library now has about 7,500 square feet.

"It's an evolving process," Burdick said. "But for the most part it's going pretty smoothly. (Thursday) we're hoping someone will be moving those boxes and putting the collection together on the other side."

Burdick said staff will be making weekly trips back to the main library to retrieve requested books.

"So (customers) should be able to get what they're wanting," Burdick said. "Not right away, but still, I think we're trying to do the most we can with having a limited impact as possible."

Burdick said internet and Wi-Fi will hopefully be in place by the opening, as that was one of their top priorities.

"We see a lot of summertime visitors use the internet and the Wi-Fi and that's why we wanted to make sure to get those services all in place," Burdick said.

There will also be regularly scheduled story time and the summer reading program will start on June 4 as well.

Since the library had to start moving in a hurry, Burdick said the library will provide amnesty on fines for the whole month of June to cover the transition period.

"It was kind of short notice, so it's caught a few people off guard with that kind of stuff," Burdick said. "With only three days warning ahead of time, we want to assure everybody doesn't worry about fines, it'll be wiped away."

Even though the library will be in the temporary space for about a year, there are no indications that the hours will change, Burdick said.

Burdick hopes the temporary space will bring in new visitors because of the central location.

"It will be a smaller facility, but we're looking at some of the positives," Burdick said. "We're in a new location, maybe we'll have more traffic this summer."

After construction on the expansion is finished, the library will have about 17,000 square feet on the first floor, according to Soldotna City Engineer Kyle Kornelis.

Logan Tuttle can be reached at logan.tuttle@peninsulaclarion.com.

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