Kimberly Bolan and Associate's latest renovation project is the Monroe Library, one of the branches of the Union County Public Library in North Carolina. KBA began working with the library in 2016. KBA's role included community engagement, space planning, and all furniture selection and interior design.
The new space opened earlier this month. One of the most noticeable changes happens as soon as you enter the building. The large circulation desk is gone and replaced by numerous small desks, giving staff more access to patrons and making it easier to walk around. “It’s so exciting because the building seems new and fresh and the patrons seem really excited about it,” Assistant Director Lindsey Shuford said. The reaction has been “pretty overwhelmingly positive,” Shuford said. “They’re really wowed by the difference."
|Entrance into the renovated Monroe Branch of the Union Co. Public Library (NC)|
Other changes include a relocated, enlarged, and zoned children’s area with spaces for the very young as well as older children. A new integrated storytime area is now on the floor instead of in a room, allowing more visibility. A new computer area includes places for individual computing as well as collaborative use. Everything has lockable casters, allowing for mobility and flexibility to meet any group’s needs.
A second phase for renovations is tentatively planned for next fall. It will include adding new lounge seating, small group study areas, a cafe, and a science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) room featuring virtual reality and other offerings.
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