The Cromaine District Library in Hartland will be closing for two weeks in August for renovations.
The library will be closed starting August 5th, lasting through the 20th. New paint will be done on some of the walls and new carpeting will be installed in all of the public areas of the library that were not touched during the 2017 renovation and addition. That involves all of the areas with stack shelving – which holds all of the library’s materials on the first and second floor. It’s consistent with the 2018-2022 Strategic Plan goal of improving the library as a destination and due to the magnitude of work, the two week closure can’t be avoided according to Director Ceci Marlow. She says all of the shelving must be moved and it won’t be easy, especially on the first floor. She says they’ll also be doing some exterior work that was included in the budget for this year that involves exterior wood painting and putting in more parking lot lights and electrical on the south lawn for concerts and events.
Marlow tells WHMI they’ll also replace the concrete and the base for the concrete right in front of the main door. She says the front door tends to heave in the winter so they’ll try to fix that problem. Marlow acknowledged that it’s a lot of work in a concentrated time frame and recognizes it makes it harder for the community but they’re going to try and pack it all in – adding she’s pretty confident they can do it all in two weeks. She added a little bit of leeway was built in to the schedule to try and get everything back onto the shelves. She says shelving on both the first and second floor will also be re-arranged to get more light from the windows they have but also make visibility among the aisles a little bit easier and more intuitive so it’s also easier to find materials.
Marlow says the work really just can’t be done without closing and the library will be much improved in the long run but stressed they’ll be on a very aggressive schedule to get everything done and re-open by August 21st – which is when students in the Hartland Consolidated Schools district are set to resume classes. Marlow says typically, the two weeks before school starts are the slowest period for public library traffic in the year and because of Cromaine’s extensive event and class schedule it’s challenging to find a really good time to close. Marlow stressed that one of the toughest things to ever do as a director is close a library – even if it is just for a temporary period for the upcoming renovations. Marlow says it’s really hard to close any public library because they know how much people rely on them and want to be able to get their materials or just hang out. With the recent power outages, or those who got power back on but didn’t have internet – Marlow says the library has been able to be there for them.
Staff will still be working during the closure. They ask that patrons do not return any materials or donate any items until the library re-opens. Many in the community rely on Wi-Fi services and Marlow says that can still be accessed outside of the building if needed in the parking lot, along Hartland Road or on the south lawn. Summer is always a busy time for public libraries and this marks the first time since August of 2008 that the library will need to close. Although it’s only for two weeks, Marlow says they want to make sure people stay connected when the library is closed. She says they’ll still host different programming with partners during that time and encourage community members to monitor their website and social media pages to stay on top of happenings. A digital resources passport also features various passes and discounts at attractions and museums across the state. Details about the upcoming renovations can be found through the provided link. (JM)