Construction workers are just six months away from turning over the keys to Joplin's new library. Construction began last fall and the building will be ready for move-in in April. The building will be open to the public in June.
We got a peek inside the new facility.
As the sun sets on one chapter of the story of the Joplin Library, 200 construction workers are busy inside the new library.
"There's so much that we're going to be able to do in the new building," says Lee Cushing with the Joplin Library.
Cushing is the IT manager for the 35,000 square foot current Joplin Library. The new library will have 13,000 more square feet.
"It's a six acre site. There's a lot more outdoor space for people to enjoy the site," says Tony Robyn, the City of Joplin's assistant planning and development director.
"When you come to the library, you don't have to just check out a book or stay in the library. You can sit outside on a bench or a table," says Robyn.
Families will be able to have outdoor picnics, then kids could curl into circular bubble windows overlooking 20th and Connecticut streets. But before all the reading will come an opportunity to see some pretty cool library technology.
"There's an automated book collection system that people can come and drop-off their books, and it comes in and it's sorted into different bins so staff can restock the shelves," says Robyn.
Computers and research go hand-in-hand, so a large common area will have cell phone and laptop battery charging stations. When the library opens in June, people will be walking on opportunity.
"People have lots of wonderful ideas. So as we move into the new space, we'll have the ability to do some of those ideas they suggest," says Cushing.
Say Clifford the Big Red Dog will need an electric plug for a display. The raised library floors are made of panels.
"You don't have to bust up the floor, bust up the walls. You can literally just unscrew these panels up and do your wiring or plumbing or whatever needs," says Robyn.
Community meeting rooms, one of them also a storm shelter for library workers and visitors, will further expand the library's role in Joplin. There will be new computers, and 104 more parking spots compared to the current library.
There will also be a future waiting to be written by children and adults.
Joplin's trolley public transportation system will have a stop at the new library. Library workers say more space in the new facility will not mean a bigger book selection at first. For now, they plan on using the extra space for meetings and special presentations.
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