After months of waiting, patrons can once again visit the Longmont Public Library, including a new special space for teens with an extended operating schedule as of Sept.7, COVID restrictions pending.
A project that began as infrastructure repairs ended with the remodeling and re-carpeting of the inside of the library, giving teens — sixth through 12th graders — a larger space to call their own. The teens’ area was expanded into the old computer lab.
The new teen area is a bright comfortable space, featuring art made by Longmont teens like Rose Feitler, 15-year-old Niwot High School sophomore who volunteered at the library. It is a place where teens can go to browse teen graphic novels, manga, anime and non-fiction. According to Nancy Kerr, library director, it will have computers, tabletop games, video games and a space for craft programs.
Stephanie Sterling, youth services librarian at Longmont’s library said, “We’ve been able to spread out the collections, and I like that you can browse our manga and graphic novel collection, which I think is really appealing and fun.”
When the indoor construction of the library began in January 2021, construction crews discovered that the structural repairs were more extensive than initially expected. During the repairs, Kerr mentioned remodeling the computer lab.
“We were just kind of joking around with the construction crew,” Kerr said, “the engineer said that we needed to lighten the load in that area.”
Kerr knew what she wanted the space for and this year the city helped the library to achieve its goals of repurposing the space.
“We’re still in the process of relocating our computer lab and configuring the space upstairs for its temporary spot,” Kerr said.
The computer lab was moved to the second floor in an open space, Kerr said. When the lab was located downstairs it contained cubicles. The goal for the new lab is to remove the cubicles, in an open space to make it conducive to classroom style teaching.
“I look forward to being able to fully expand into this space,” Sterling said.