There were rave reviews for the renovations at the Perth and District Union Public Library’s open house on Saturday morning.
Members of the public who attended used words like “spacious”, “bright” and “open” to describe the changes to the 36 year-old building.
Library CEO Erika Heesen said the renovations came about after the library rented the adjoining fire hall for staff space. "We moved the staff space into the fire hall and then we could open up the old staff space to the public," she said. "So we said, okay, if we’re going to do that, let’s take a look at all of our space. Make it more welcoming and accessible to everyone and really align our spaces a bit better."
Heesen says that means that the facility now has room for a teen media lab next to the teen space and the have the large programming room upstairs, next to the kid’s area. They have also moved the Circulation Desk.
The children’s department has been moved upstairs and the former staff room is now a common room for library users. The library is one of the few union libraries in the province and is funded by the Town of Perth and the townships of Tay Valley and Drummond North Elmsley.
Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington MPP Randy Hillier was on hand for the celebration. He noted it was significant that the Town of Perth, Tay Valley and Drummond-North “recognize the value of contributing to the library in our community and investing in the library.”
The library spent $40,000 on the renovations - $35,000 from capital reserve and $5,000 from Film Night International.
The Friends of the Library also donated $4,500 for new signage.
It took staff and 200 volunteer hours to make the changes during a two week span in December.