The kids mooing, dancing and playing their way through a farm-themed story time Monday at the Spokane Valley Library will miss out next week when the library branch closes.
The library will be closed Monday through Nov. 16 to allow new carpet to be installed in high traffic areas. “There’s a safety issue,” said Spokane County Library District spokeswoman Jane Baker. “It’s bubbling up and fraying.”
The desks where staff sit will also be reconfigured – one larger desk will be put by the door and two will be removed.
“It’s a new model that’s going on in libraries,” said Baker. “It frees up our staff from sitting at the desks.”
The district has switched to the one-desk model at most of its libraries. “We did the small libraries first to make sure the model worked OK,” said Baker.
Last year there were 300,000 visits to the Spokane Valley Library, which is the busiest one run by the district. The library was built in 1955 and is showing its age. It has been remodeled twice, most recently in 1986.
Next week was picked for the work because the library would already be closed Monday for Veterans Day, and doing the project all at once was easier than doing it piecemeal.
“We figured let’s just bite the bullet and get it done all at once,” Baker said. “We just figured it would be the least inconvenient. There’s no really great time to do it.”
People will still be able to use the book drop and any books on hold will remain there until patrons can return.
The ones who will miss out the most are the kids who show up for one of the six story times held every week.
Librarian Aileen Lupert said she sees from 25 to 65 people per session. “It ranges a lot,” she said. “We’ve got a fair number of people who come to more than one.”
But the children will benefit in the end. Removing two of the desks on the main floor of the library will free up a room that will be used to expand the children’s area. “In the long run it will open things up quite a bit,” Baker said.