Renovation work continues on the East Side, including: drywall and conduit work, restroom tiles and partitions being installed; window sills installed. Electrical crews are setting lighting and AC grids in ceiling and adjusting fire suppression sprinkler system, and working on final setup of secondary network server room. The “party wall” (temporary wall separating the active construction site) has been removed.

A flexible “Think Tank” Maker Space, (with curved walls) is being built. 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. Conceptual designs can be found on the Your Library Reimagined page.

Exterior painting is ongoing. Chiller is being insulated. The native outdoor landscaping has not been given its usual TLC during the renovation, there are plans for entrance space to be revitalized in the new few months.

New Technology: Digital Archives Room, Think Tank

A new Archives Room with digitization capabilities is being finished. The room will expedite scanning of local and historic photos. Luc Century’s etched Calusa 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. The next phase is expected to be fully operational in early Fall 2018.

On the West Side:

Weekly Summer Reading program events are in full swing. Teen VIP nights, children’s crafts, storytimes, musical movies, and special performances are listed on the calendar.

More than 180 children, ranging in ages 1 to 18, have registered for SRP since May. As in years past, kids read to earn books for their home library and for patients at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. Children who participate in the Summer Reading Program can receive books they can keep for their own personal library. The Library Foundation, through its Joan Hunt Cory Fund, matches each book “earned” with a book for the Children’s Hospital. Last year 1,810 books were “earned” by island readers for young patients at the Children’s Hospital. Since its inception in 2012, young readers have helped to contribute more than 6,000 books to the hospital.

Public access computers for patrons to access the internet, check email, and print, are available. Outgoing fax service is also available. Reference questions, helping patrons find library material, updating patron Library card information, placing holds, cataloging new books, and helping patrons access eBooks and other technology continue as the SPL is open for summer hours.

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