The City of Carlsbad’s Georgina Cole Library on Carlsbad Village Drive closed Sept. 1 for approximately five months as part of a project that will transform two of the city’s libraries into modern spaces that fulfill the community’s changing needs in an increasingly digital age.
“The modernization plans for the libraries were designed to ensure the city is able to meet the needs of the community for many years to come,” said City of Carlsbad Library & Cultural Arts Director Heather Pizzuto. “While the goal of the project is to improve for the future, maintaining regular programs and services at other locations during construction has been a top priority.”
Programs typically held at Cole Library have moved to other community locations during construction, which is anticipated to be complete in early 2016. A book drop and donation bin are available at the east end of the Cole Library parking lot during the closure. Holds designated for pickup at Cole will be delivered to the Carlsbad City Library Learning Center during construction. More information about specific programs and up-to-date schedules can be found at www.carlsbadca.gov/libraryredesigns.
The Carlsbad City Library on Dove Lane will remain open during construction at Cole Library, before undergoing its own redesign beginning early 2016. Construction at the Dove Library will not begin until construction at the Cole Library is complete. The city’s Library Learning Center, located at 3368 Eureka Place across from Holiday Park, will remain open during the construction period for both libraries, with expanded hours, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Library online services and resources will also remain available during construction.
At 48 years old, Cole Library is the oldest library in the city. Work will focus on maximizing the existing space and adding technology infrastructure to meet the needs of a 21st century population. Improvements include enhanced technology and Wi-Fi connectivity and power access, improved accessibility, additional comfortable gathering spaces, collaborative study and meetings spaces, new carpet and paint, a new elevator and a fire sprinkler system.
The new study and meeting spaces will be equipped with technology and will be available by reservation or drop-in. A one-stop central service desk is also being added to better assist library patrons, and a real-time material check-in system will improve efficiency.
At 16 years old, the Dove Library has fewer maintenance needs than Cole Library. Improvements will focus on enhancing community gathering and include creating a “living room” feel, adding seating areas for patrons, redesigning the courtyard, adding a new patio and a café with expanded food and drink options. Improved outdoor spaces will allow for new opportunities for outdoor library programs and events.
Individual and collaborative use will be enhanced with enhanced technology and Wi-Fi connectivity and power access, additional study rooms and a new tech lab to serve as a versatile learning center.
The Ruby G. Schulman Auditorium, located in the Carlsbad City Library complex, will be remodeled to improve accessibility and enhance visibility to the stage. The auditorium’s video production and other audio-visual equipment will be upgraded to digital technology.
Both libraries will add dedicated teen areas where young adults can gather to study or collaborate, and they will also include new Friends of the Library bookstores. Improvements were designed with flexibility in mind, allowing the libraries to adjust the use of space in response to evolving needs of users.
The Carlsbad City Council approved an $11 million budget for the library modernization projects. The renovation plans, shaped by community input, are designed to improve the user experience for the more than 65,000 monthly visitors to city libraries.
Carlsbad libraries circulate 1.3 million books, DVDs and other materials every year, along with providing a wide range of digital resources. About 85 percent of city residents visit the library in person or online every year, and 57 percent use library services on a monthly basis.