Big changes at FDL Library: New carpet, collection on the move

Big changes are coming to the Fond du Lac Public Library downtown this year. They start in early February, when new carpet will be installed on the main and second floors. Since the library is home to more than 175,000 separate items – books, movies, CDs, newspapers, etc.; hundreds of bookshelves, tables and chairs; and more than 100 computers, installing new carpeting is a major undertaking.

The estimated project timeline:

  • Early February: Internet computers and the internet printing station move from the second to the first floor, temporarily. There will be fewer internet computers available to the public during the project.
  • February 2: The second floor closes to the public. Library helpers will staff a service desk at the stairway to search for and retrieve anything the public needs from upstairs. The Opportunity Center will be closed and Fond du Lac Literacy Services’ office will be move to the lower level. Microfilm readers will not be available (typically used by genealogists and historians).
  • Mid-February: While carpet is being installed on the second floor, major shifting of materials and furniture will be underway.
  • Early March: The second floor reopens. Internet computers and printing move back upstairs. First floor carpet installation begins. Sections of the first floor will be closed to the public to accommodate the work. As before, helpers will be on hand to search for and retrieve materials.
  • Mid-March: Target for completion. (The Browser Open mini-golf event, hosted by the Friends of the Fond du Lac Public Library, is set for Sunday, March 18.)

"We're dealing with carpet that was installed in the 2004 renovation," said Assistant Director Lori Burgess. "It's in very bad shape. It's taped together in spots, and we've had to put displays in the middle of traffic patterns to cover up trip hazards."

Burgess and library managers are using the carpeting project as an opportunity to rearrange the collection to make better use of the space available. When it's done, adult fiction and paperbacks will be combined and relocated to the second floor, and newspapers and magazines will move down to the first floor. More tables and chairs will be moved to the first floor.

"We hope the new arrangement provides a more logical flow," Burgess said. "Plus, we're moving service desks and making other changes to allow the first floor to be more of a gathering space and the second floor to better fit its designation as the quiet zone."

By shutting down areas to the public, library staff hopes to keep the facility open throughout the project. Visitors likely will find the library different every day.

New carpet is the first of two projects that will make big changes at the library this year. In the spring, the parking lot will be redesigned to create space for a larger book return bin that will be easier to access. The new layout calls for a new, additional driveway along Portland Street and more spaces for handicapped parking. Construction will begin when weather is warm enough to pour concrete.

The Fond du Lac Public Library supports a high quality of life in Fond du Lac through reading, lifelong learning and community involvement. There are two locations: the Main Library downtown at 32 Sheboygan St., and FDLPL Express near Festival Foods at Highways 23 and 151. For more information, call (920) 929-7080.

 

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