Millhopper Library readying to reopen

Millhopper Branch Library staff organize boxes of books left in storage during the library's renovation period on Jan. 19. From left are Emily Young, Bryan Kratish and branch manager Sharon Jackson. The library is set to reopen on Feb. 27.

Doug Finger/Staff photographer
Published: Monday, January 25, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 11:44 p.m.

Millhopper Branch Library workers began the process this week of unpacking books and materials to get the library ready to open by Feb. 27.

The library's 8,000-square-foot expansion was completed on Jan. 5, and library staff and volunteers will be moving in new furniture, installing shelving and getting books out of storage boxes, among other chores.

The Millhopper Branch Library, 3145 N.W. 43rd St., was closed for construction about a year ago, and patrons have been making do with a 6,000-square-foot temporary facility on the second floor of the Bank of America building at 2627 N.W. 43rd St., just down the street from the library building.

Keith Harmon, supervisor at the Millhopper Branch Library, said staff will be working at both sites until the temporary library is closed, which should be 10 to 14 days before the Millhopper library opens.

"It will require a bit of juggling, with staffing at both locations," Harmon said. "We will be spread pretty thin."

Angela Harris, public relations and marketing director for the Alachua County Library District, said the expansion includes the addition of an adult reading room, study nooks, a larger children's area, a young adult area, an expanded circulation area, two meeting rooms, a small cafe with food and seating, a playground and more parking.

The architect for the project was the Gainesville firm of McKellips, and the contractor is J.A. Standridge Construction Inc. of Melrose.

Harmon said only about 10 percent of the book collection at the Millhopper Branch Library is being used at the temporary location. He said the majority of the collection has been in storage and now is being delivered to the library for processing.

"Getting the collection back to the Millhopper library is a major task," Harmon said. "It will be a very big deal."

Harris said library staff and volunteers will go through each item in the collection to make sure everything is properly processed. She said the book drop-off area at the Millhopper Branch Library already is in place, but books are not being accepted there yet. Patrons should continue to return books to the temporary library until further notice.

For more information, call 334-1272.

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