Renovation work continues including: new, larger windows to maximize the natural light and stunning views have been installed; two computer labs; meeting rooms; and a flexible “Think Tank” Maker Space are being finished. The SPL will have mobile shelving and furniture that allows for flexible arrangements to host large events; updated areas for Children and Teens; plus revived outdoor courtyard space.

The interior design palette of Sanibel Public Library is inspired by a combination of the natural surroundings of the island as well as integrating the existing architectural elements of the building. The flooring materials incorporate layers of blues you would see at the shoreline as well as textures representing water transitioning to sand and shells along the beach. Contrasting wood, stones, and layered shell textures will enhance the furniture and carry the natural island inspiration throughout the Library. The Children and Teen spaces will feature brighter colors inspired by a combination of the fish swimming underwater in the Gulf of Mexico, and the colorful shells visitors find during a beach walk at sunset. Conceptual designs can be found on the Your Library Reimagined page.

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. Luc Century’s etched Caloosa windows, (which were previously located on the west side of the Library), have been installed in the new Archives Room. 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 local 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 currently open for normal summer 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.

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