CONROE, Texas -- Montgomery County Library System (MCMLS) is making improvements to the Central Library, located at 104 I-45 North in Conroe. With the original carpeting in place since the building opened in 1994, the building will soon receive a facelift with the installation of new carpet throughout the entire building.
“The citizens in our community deserve a nice, upgraded facility,” states Library Marketing and Program Coordinator Melissa Baker. “This old carpet has seen its share of wear and tear, with 2.5 million customers visiting the Central Library just in the last decade alone, not to mention the foot traffic from the dozen years before that.”
This large undertaking will affect some library services downstairs between December 12-22 and upstairs during the following month, starting on January 2. While the book stacks are being lifted to accommodate the new carpet, the public will not have access to those portions of the collection. However, library staff will be available on site to courier books and other items from the closed stacks to the patrons that need them. The front desk will include a full-service reference station, with library staff offering extra assistance during the transition.
Patrons are encouraged to take advantage of the many benefits that MCMLS offers in order to mitigate any potential disruptions resulting from the carpeting project. Customers may choose to place holds on wanted items before their arrival, to ensure that there will be no difficulty accessing the materials when they need them. Holds are kept for customers for one full week at the check-out desk, giving patrons plenty of time to come get the materials when it is convenient.
MCMLS also offers patrons the opportunity to put a 4-6 week loan extension on the usual 2-week check out period, as long as no one has the item requested, which would give additional time for customers who prefer to delay their return until after the carpeting project is complete.
Customers can always choose to stock up on items during the last week in December, from December 27-30, when the carpeting project will be suspended and normal operating procedures will be in place.
Beginning January 2, the upstairs portion of the library will be closed to the public, but services downstairs will remain in full force throughout the month. Some minor adjustments to shelving will take place in the local history room, in addition to the carpet install upstairs.
The Central Library will still be having the big Santa Visit and Children’s Holiday Party at 10:30 AM on Wednesday, December 13, and regular story times will continue throughout the installation process. While computer classes in January have been cancelled, computers and technology assistance will still be available on the first floor. In addition, the public has continued access to reserve the Small Meeting Room throughout December and January.
“The goal for the project is to minimize the inconvenience to our customers as much as possible,” says Melissa Baker. “This is the library’s slowest time of year, so it was the best time to take on the task.”
Library Director Jerilynn A. Williams shared that, based upon the significant planning that has preceded implementation, she is hopeful the project goes smoothly. “We are grateful for the support of Commissioners’ Court for replacing Central Library’s 23-year old, worn carpeting and for the leadership of Building Maintenance Director Paul Case in coordinating the work.” She noted that to minimize the time of restricted use, a firm specializing in library re-locations has been contracted to relocate shelving units with the materials in place, while workers remove old carpet, prepare the floors, then install new carpet tiles. One-yard squares will replace the original broadloom carpet and, thus, provide greater flexibility in space utilization.
Every effort will be made to speed the process as much as possible, reopening portions of the library in phases as access becomes available. The timeline anticipated for the project’s total completion will be the end of January.
For more information, visit www.countylibrary.org or contact Library Administration at 936-788-8377.