March 22, 2018

Library Construction Update: New and Renovated Buildings, 11/23/12

The Reading Public Library, MA, is now closer to its renovation and expansion project with the influx of $5.1 million from the state toward the total $12 million cost. Along with an 8,000 square foot addition, the library will undergo “major structural repairs and substantial renovations.”  These enhancements are based on a study commissioned in 2010 to consider the library’s needs. A special town meeting is next on the docket in order to approve a debt exclusion to cover Reading’s financial participation, according to the Reading–North Reading Patch. Citizens would be charged $100 annually for ten years following approval of the April 2 vote. If voters are on board, construction would begin in fall or winter of 2013.

October 20 marked the end of a $1 million renovation of the Bishops Corner Branch of West Hartford Public Library, CT. The ten-month project reconfigured the layout of the building, added accessibility features, replaced floors and windows, upgraded the HVAC system, and incorporated high-efficiency lighting, per the Courant. In an effort to make better use of space, an unused back door was eliminated and replaced with additional shelving; the circulation desk was moved to inside the entryway. Funding for the project came from the town of West Hartford, along with a $153,333 state construction grant and $75,000 from the West Hartford Library Foundation.

The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, has gained approval for the renovation of the William L. Clements Library, along with a $6 million donation from the Avenir Foundation. The Clements Library has holdings of great interest to historians, with books, graphics/photographs, maps, and manuscripts dating from the time of Christopher Columbus through the 19th century. The 90-year-old library, designed by architect ­Albert Kahn and built in 1923, will use the Avenir gift to upgrade the facility’s infrastructure and enlarge the space for collections as part of the $16.8 million plan; the remainder of the support will be provided by the university and its Board of Governors. The firm of SmithGroupJJR is behind the new design, which will include a restored entrance, increased seating capacity, and an 8,500 square foot underground storage annex.

Bette-Lee Fox About Bette-Lee Fox

Bette-Lee Fox ( is Managing Editor, Library Journal.

Celebrating her 46th year with Library Journal, Bette-Lee also edits LJ’s Video Reviews column, six times a year Romance column, and e-original Romance reviews, which post weekly as LJ Xpress Reviews.

The Latest Trends in Library Design
Hosted in partnership with Salt Lake County Library and The City Library—at SLCo’s Viridian Center—the newest installment of our library building and design event will let you dig deep with architects, librarians, and vendors to explore building, renovating, and retrofitting spaces to better engage your community.