Much of the current renovation work is behind the scenes—electrical and data cables, support beams, plumbing, and other infrastructure. Workers installed overhead ground wires for protection from electrical surges during lightning storms. Larger windows are being installed for better water views.

New Technology: Digital Archives Room, Think Tank
A new Archives Room with digitization capabilities is being built for easier scanning of local and historic photos. The Sanibel Public Library Foundation, along with the Roni Jo Freer Fund, is underwriting the new digital archive room. Together with Pfeifer Realty Group, the SPL has been reaching out to the public, asking for “pre-1999” vintage photos. The initiative began as film producer David E. Carter was looking for photos of Sanibel for use in historic documentaries. In his search he realized there are many more photo treasures out there that need to be shared.  The Library’s current archive collection includes hundreds of scanned photos, but the goal is to increase the amount to thousands. People who have old photos can bring them to the Library, or mail them. Photos will be tagged to identify persons, places, or dates related the image, to make them searchable. After they are scanned, the photos are returned to their owner.

In addition to the Archives Room, grant monies from the Sanibel Public Library Foundation were also targeted toward the addition of state-of-the-art technology including faster WiFi, fully-equipped computer labs, and collaboration and videoconferencing centers. The new Think Tank will be located near the Children and Teen Space. The space is designed to encourage young people to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) initiatives. The Foundation is providing funding for the Think Tank with the support of a gift from Hans and Leslie Fleischner.

The remodel will also provide spaces for quiet reading. A drive-through book drop is also in the plans. Sanibel Public Library is open for normal hours, while the east side of the Library is being renovated. Public use computers, printers, and other popular services are available. The next phase is expected to be fully operational in early Fall 2018.

Above, Photos: New digital archives room under construction.

Snap Circuits are an example of potential Fab Lab/Think Tank programs.

1955 photo-Ding Darling NWR, from the Florida Memory archives project.

Larger windows are being installed.

Below, Video: Workers install overhead ground wires for lightning protection 

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