Teton County Library Director Deb Adams invites the community to celebrate the completion of the library’s new addition and renovation with Grand Opening festivities on Thursday, Jan. 31, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Come join the library for complimentary chili lunch, library tours, live music and an official ribbon cutting at noon. The opening is also the kick-off for a year-long celebration of the library’s 75th Anniversary as a public library.
“We welcome everyone to check out the beautiful new spaces in our revitalized and expanded library,” said Library Director Deb Adams. “Whether you’re looking for a favorite study space or reading chair by a window or a computer to work, you will soon find out there is something for everyone in our new library.”
“Thanks to our incredible team of architects and construction crew, we’re proud to deliver this project to the community with those five magic words—“on budget and on schedule,” Adams continued. “It truly was a team effort with Gilday Architects and Humphries/Poli Architects, Construction Manager GE Johnson and library project assistant Stan Zaist, as well as a multitude of mainly local sub-contractors.”
Moreover, thanks to the Teton County Commissioners, Library Board and staff, the library has restored three hours on Saturday mornings, now opening at 10 a.m. “We’re thrilled now that construction is finished to open to the public for three additional hours on Saturday mornings,” Adams said.
Highlights of New Library Spaces
Adams invites the public to explore the library’s new space, including its larger auditorium; cozier reading room; new computer lab; public art installation and permanent nook for the ever-popular book sale organized by the Teton County Library Friends.
The Friends Book Nook, the Friends’ new ongoing book sale, is open for business along with the library’s coffee cart, located in the library lobby. Stop by for a cup of tea or joe and peruse pre-loved books for sale. The ongoing book sale raises money for the library and recycles favorite reads in the community. The Friends also accept book donations at the library during regular library hours. For Book Nook hours, visit http://www.tclib.org/friends.
The library’s renovated auditorium now includes a divider that can split the room, which seats 125, into two separate spaces for simultaneous use, doubling opportunities for community groups to meet at the library. New study rooms feature large TV screens and game consoles with connections for computers to allow for individual or group viewing and participation.
A second information desk is staffed and ready in the newly revamped Main Wing where patrons can seek help with research questions, using their e-readers and more. Just look for the big green “?” to find the new research station, located halfway down the Main Wing.
“With a second information desk, we have an opportunity to devote more time to one-on-one interactions with patrons. We can connect people with resources ranging from maps of routes along the Silk Road to travel books for Death Valley to information about Alexander the Great– to name just a few examples of the kinds of questions we answer,” said Kurt Plagge, Librarian and coordinator of reference services. “We’re also definitely willing to sit down with people and help them with their e-readers and tapping into the library’s digital resources.”
Public and Private Partnership
A combination of public and private funding has made the library addition and renovation possible. Voters approved the Specific Purpose Excise Tax, beginning in 2008, to pay for the project; the Teton County Library Foundation has raised money to contribute a margin of excellence beyond what public dollars alone could provide.
In the library’s Main Wing, donations have made it possible to include a fireplace and locally-made, craftsman-style furniture in the reading room. The library’s public art installation in the library lobby has been funded entirely by private donations to the Library Foundation by the Sage Foundation and Teton County Library Friends. Private dollars also are funding state-of-the-art audio visual equipment; public computers for adults, teens and children; acoustical tiles for good sound attenuation in the auditorium; and comfortable seating in the reading room and auditorium. The public-private partnership has created an extraordinary center for information, life-long learning, literature and community.
“People don’t have to wait until the Grand Opening to come by and enjoy our new reading room where you can grab a book and cozy up to the fire or bask in the sunlight next to our new floor-to-ceiling windows,” said Missy Falcey, Executive Director of the Library Foundation. “Donations to the Foundation have made an already great library an exceptional one.”
Library Public Art Installation
“Filament Mind” is currently being installed and programmed by artist Brian Brush and his team and will be completed at the end of January, with an “unveiling” at the Library Grand Opening. Suspended threads of gossamer fiber optic cables span the length of the new lobby, and each thread connects on the wall next to the label of a unique library subject category. The cables will interface with the library’s own “mind,” the Wyoming State Library catalog. Each time a library user throughout Wyoming searches a person, place, idea or book, a bundle of fiber optic threads fire a glowing light or color related to the library subject category returned from that search. In this way, Filament Mind resembles a luminous “connectome,” or map, of synaptic brain activity, firing away the thoughts of people extended through the mind of the library.
“It’s going to be exciting to see what people across Wyoming are curious about,” said Adams. “And it’s an opportunity for us to see how we are connected to our fellow residents throughout the state in our search for knowledge.”
In addition to the private funds donated to pay for the art, the library architects and construction manager donated their own resources and time to realize the project.
“We want to thank Gilday Architects and Humphries/Poli Architects, and Construction Manager GE Johnson for a considerable donation of resources and pro-bono time dedicated to the installation of the public art project,” said Adams. “This creative enterprise would not have been possible without their generous contribution to the project.”
For information about the library addition and renovation project, visit: http://www.tclib.org/addition. To learn about the library’s 75th Anniversary: http://www.tclib.org/75. Follow us at http://www.twitter.com/TetonLibrary or like us on http://www.facebook.com/TCLibrary to get weekly event information. You can also sign up for our monthly events e-calendar at http://www.tclib.org/enews.