Before & After: Author Series - Modular Gathering Space
Before & After

Planning for “Your Library Reimagined” renovation project started more than three years ago, when the Library Board and staff analyzed obsolete infrastructure. The renovation overhauled Sanibel Public Library’s 25-year-old HVAC, plumbing, fire suppression, and electrical systems. Design work was completed by HBM Architects of Cleveland, with Chris-Tel Construction of Fort Myers assuming responsibility for construction management. Since the Library is a vital community resource, closures were kept to a minimum, and the SPL was only closed for a few days at a time, less than 25 days total during the project.

The improvements include larger windows; two new study rooms; two computer labs with fast internet; a “Think Tank” MakerSpace, and an enhanced Teen Space. There is a new Archives Room with digitization capabilities for easier scanning of photos. Most of the updates were behind the scenes, with installation of more efficient infrastructure which will lower operating costs. The project has also “reimagined” the layout of the space to better serve community needs.

In 2017, the $250,000 grant from Sanibel Public Library Foundation for Your Library Reimagined supported the renovation and in particular the following: technology infrastructure upgrade including meeting rooms, digitization, study rooms, WiFi, gaming, digital signage, and public catalog search. Foundation funds also went toward expanding the popular reading porch, youth collections and children’s furniture, plus the Think Tank.

Sanibel Public Library Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors: Ken Nirenberg, Linda Uhler, Margaret Mohundro, Linda Estep, Jan Egeland. Uhler and Mohundro serve on the Foundation Board through their positions with the Sanibel Public Library District, as Commissioner chair and Library executive director, respectively.

Another major achievement in 2018 was the Library’s designation as a Five Star Library, one of 257 Star Libraries (of the 7,500 libraries reviewed) in the nation and one of only three in Florida. This is an objective ranking based on overall circulation, circulation of electronic materials, library visits, program attendance and public internet computer use.

Your Library Reimagined renovation project – summer 2018:

Sanibel Public Library cards are available to all residents of Sanibel and Lee County, Florida, at no charge. Visitor library cards are available for a $10 annual fee. For more information about the Sanibel Public Library, call (239) 472-2483, or visit online at