Centennial Article: Renovations

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The Howard County Public Library has seen many renovations since it opened its doors almost 100 years ago.  The most significant renovation was the addition of the Anna Kuhn Carson Children’s wing in 1968 and the new children’s murals by Peggy and Joe Guest.  However since that time the Library Board and the Friends of the Library have continued to make improvements to the library.

 

In preparation for the library’s 75th anniversary, the board made plans to paint the walls, recover the floors and the window frames and to replace some of the shelving units.  Using a $1000 gift which was left to the library by a former resident as seed money the board began a fund raising campaign.  Over $8000 including money donarted in memory of Dr. Donald Benson and Mrs. Margaret Edwards was raised for the project which was completed in time for the celebration.  Over 200 people visited the library on April 22, 1990 for a birthday celebration in the refurbished building. 

 

In 2004 the Board once again saw a need for extensive renovations, this time of the main reading room of the library.  The unitized checkout desk, new book display and the double shelves behind this display were all part of the changes brought about in part by a gift from the Friends of the Library.  New light-colored tile flooring was also installed.  All of these renovations were completed in time for a 90th Anniversary Open House on April 1, 2005.

 

Renovations continued to a major theme in library board reports following the 90th anniversary celebration. The library building still needed major repairs including tuck-pointing, replacing the main entrance stairs, renovating the front porch and roof, painting windows, doors and gutters, and adding a new hand rail to the main entrance.  Later reports discuss repainting the interior of the library, refurbishing the restrooms, laying carpet and fixing the roof.

 

Last year the board voted to replace all 53 windows and most of the doors in the library  in preparation for the library’s 100th birthday.  Because of the historic nature of the library as a Carnegie Library, board members insisted that the new windows closely resemble the old windows.  They also chose windows that would be energy efficient and would help to protect the contents of the library.  .All the new windows and doors have been installed and the frames should all be painted in time for the Centennial Celebration and Open House planned for April 1.

 

In addition the board hopes that the new Betty and Glenn Collier Genealogy Center and the new Board Room will be completed in time for a formal dedication sometime during April.