As Sanibel Public Library enters Phase II of “Your Library Reimagined” project, the facility is open for normal operating hours. Look for the interim “main” entrance on the west side of the Library. Phase II includes popular and vital services—like computers and printers available for patron use, a “New” book section, high speed Wi-Fi, Children and Teen Space, seating areas to read newspapers, Reading Porch, used books for sale, self-check out stations, and reference services.

“Although the Library is open, there is ongoing major construction. The appearance and useable space will continue to improve as the Library transforms,” said Executive Director Margaret Mohundro. The other half of the Library is being renovated for a Children’s Area, additional service points, Book Sale Room, art exhibit space, and modular meeting places. The next phase is expected to be fully operational in early Fall 2018.

Obsolete infrastructure and responding to the ever-changing needs of user are two areas the Library Board of Commissioners analyzed when it began to consider a major upgrade three years ago. In addition to major infrastructure improvements including HVAC; fire suppression; and plumbing and electrical systems, the renovation plans include updating the interior for greater service efficiency. “People use libraries differently that they did 25, 10, and even two years ago,” said Mohundro. “Today and in the future people are using mobile technology to use collaborative learning and multi-purpose gathering spaces. Patrons tell us they want print books, technology connected to the world, study areas, and program and meeting space,” she added.

The Sanibel Public Library Foundation provides, supports, and supplements library services of Sanibel and assists in the promotion of reading and literacy. Grant monies from the Foundation are providing additional state-of-the-art technology to the Your Library Reimagined project. Additionally, the Foundation is funding expanded seating areas, a Think Tank for youth to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) initiatives; a new Archives Room with digitization capabilities; children’s storytime space; outdoor plaza areas; and more.

Since its inception in 2006, the Foundation has provided close to $1 million to fund Library Author Series; the annual youth Summer Reading Program; a TeenSpace Room; and technology initiatives including cutting edge computer hardware and software; youth early literacy computers; eBooks; reference services; Sanibel Public Library mobile app; and more.

Items placed on hold will continue to be held, and patron fees/fines are waived at this time.

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