March 16, 2018

Branching Out, November 2016

Dee Brown Library Photo courtesy of Fennell Purifoy Architects

Dee Brown Library, Central Arkansas Library System
Photo courtesy of Fennell Purifoy Architects

The Dee Brown Library (pictured), part of the Central Arkansas Library System, Little Rock, reopened on September 30 following a remodel and expansion that began in June. The 13,500 square foot, 2002 branch gained 2,200 square feet in the $1.3 million effort that includes a teaching kitchen, a Maker lab, and an enlarged outdoor deck. Under the direction of Fennell Purifoy Architects, with construction services by FLYNCO Inc., the work features an exposed steel and timber structure with a stone and metal exterior skin; its energy-efficient elements have resulted in energy expenditures of a mere $1.05 per square foot. Funding is from a 2015 bond measure. The building is named for novelist and historian Brown (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee).

The Southport Branch of the Indianapolis Public Library reopened on October 15 following a $1.1 million renovation, the first upgrade since its debut in 1974. The updates to the 16,000 square foot facility, under the helm of arcDesign of Indianapolis, include a new entrance in closer proximity to the parking area; a marketplace corridor; designated separate spaces for young children, teens, and adults; two group study rooms; fully accessible restrooms; new shelving; bonus electrical outlets; and extra seating. The new Mary Frances Rubly and Jerry Hummer Community Room seats 80.

It was grand opening time on October 1 in Tulsa with the completion of the three-year, $50 million renovation to the 135,000 square foot Tulsa City-County Central Library. Among the remodel’s amenities are eight new study rooms, a floating staircase, a Maker lab, the Center for Learning and Creativity on the lower level, an energy-efficient HVAC system, the A.R. & MaryLouise Tandy Foundation Children’s Garden with an outdoor fountain, the Herman and Kate Kaiser Children’s Area, a four-level parking garage, and a Starbucks location, the first such collaboration between the chain and a public library, according to Tulsa World. The exhaustive remodel was under the direction of MSR Design of Minneapolis and local company Crafton Tull. With numerous green features, the building is targeting Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

The new Vandalia Branch of the Dayton Metro Library opened on November 18. The building is more than twice the size of the former 9,245 square foot facility. Amenities include a “Navigation”-themed children’s area; the TeenEDGE, with gaming and hangout spaces; a reading room with fireplace; an outdoor patio; in-library laptop lending; an on-site vending area; and art installations inspired by pieces in the Dayton Art Institute, according to the Dayton Daily News.

This article was published in Library Journal's November 15, 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.