Remodeled library is buzzing with readers of all ages

It’s the first day of the Claremont Library’s grand re-opening, and the place is buzzing.

Hundreds of Claremonters of all shapes and sizes, young and old, roamed the new library, looking at books, checking them out, and looking up information on one of the library’s new computers. A magician, Arty Loon, made kids laugh in the media room through his blend of magic and humor.

After seven months of renovations, the library is back.

Library Director Amy Crow could not be more thrilled, firing off all the renovations and upgrades the library received as she led the COURIER on a quick tour. The piece-de-resistance is the new HVAC system, which aims to make the library cooler than ever before.

Ms. Crow noted much of the $3 million price tag for the seven-month renovation went to the HVAC system, as well as the new roof.

If the new library seems a little brighter, that’s because the renovations brought a new prominence to the skylight, which adorns the adult books section. Ms. Crow told a story about how one patron asked her if the skylight, which has been a part of library since it first opened, was new.

“I said, ‘oh, it’s always been here,’” she said.

The new library has something for everyone—new computers, gender-neutral restrooms, a revamped teen corner with new furniture bought by the Friends of the Claremont Library. In fact, the Friends purchased much of the new furniture in the new library, Ms. Crow said.

One of the more high-tech additions to the new library is a laptop checkout station, where anyone can check out a new laptop and work on it anywhere in the library all day long, so long as it stays within the building, Ms. Crow said. The new remodel also doubled the number of computers in the library, she added.

The former media room has been transformed into a shrine for local Claremont history, featuring books by Claremont authors and books about the history of the City of Trees.

During the remodel, the library occupied a single room at the Alexander Hughes Community Center, where patrons would check books out from a limited selection as the library was worked on. Ms. Crow noted that working out of the Hughes Center garnered a new appreciation for the city and its staff.

“I’m glad we had that Hughes Center experience,” she said.

But nothing beats working out of the real library. This was apparent just by looking at the scene—kids laughing and learning, adults lining up at the front desk to check out books, and volunteers informing patrons about the library’s book of the month.

All is as it should be at the library.

“We’re really pleased with how it worked out,” Ms. Crow said. 

Matthew Bramlett


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