March 16, 2018

Branching Out, April 2016

Christa McAuliffe Branch

Christa McAuliffe Branch

The Canton Branch of the Enoch Pratt Public Library, Baltimore, reopened on February 12 after a four-year closure. The 7,510 square foot library has a newly redesigned floor plan, an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)–compliant entrance, 13 public access computers, restored architectural features from the original 1886 building, free Internet and Wi-Fi, self-checkout, and a 15,000-item collection. WBCM (Whitney Bailey Cox & Magnani, LLC) was the lead design firm.

Following roughly a year and a half of construction, the new Christa McAuliffe Branch of the Framingham Public Library, MA, officially opened on February 16. The new library (at 17,000 square feet nearly three times the size of its Saxonville predecessor) was designed by Finegold Alexander Architects of Boston, with Lupachino/Salvatore, Bloomfield, CT, on construction. The $8.6 million facility is located on two acres adjacent to a school, senior center, and shopping center and borders a Minuteman bike trail park. Targeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification, the building features 5,200 square feet of glass for natural light, LED lighting throughout, and insulated metal panels on the exterior. The expansive design was inspired by McAuliffe, the New Hampshire schoolteacher who died in the Challenger space shuttle disaster 30 years ago.

The Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, underwent a major renovation to bring the Digital Scholarship Laboratory to fruition. The 4,400 square foot space encompasses a conference room, a classroom, and a 3-D print lab. Completed in January, the $550,000 space offers support for research, training, and teaching as well as collaborative work areas and functional flexibility. Amenities include five dual-monitor computers, four iMacs, a 4′ x 10′ video presentation wall, a teleconferencing system, and a Telepresence robot.

On March 12, the new Siloam Springs Library, AR, officially opened following several years of preparation and nearly 12 months of construction. The former 8,000 square foot facility has grown to more than 18,000 square feet, at a total cost of $4.7 million. It now inhabits the site of what was a city-owned hospital and features a larger space to accommodate children’s programming, computer classes, meeting areas, and an enhanced collection.

Palm Beach County Library System, FL, reopened its Tequesta Branch on Monday, February 29, following a three-month renovation. Work to the 4,000 square foot facility included the installation of a new roof, a new air conditioning system, and a new fire control panel and cost $611,135. The 1995 branch serves the residents of the Village of Tequesta along with residents of Marin County who purchase library cards. It was last remodeled in 2008.—Bette-Lee Fox

This article was published in Library Journal's April 1, 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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.