It’s been ten months since the North Branch Library closed for renovation. But those long drives to the Ogden Valley and Pleasant Valley branches are almost over because the North Branch Library is set to open at the beginning of the year! After years of deliberation and cancelation, the North Branch renovation is nearly complete, and although there is no official opening date, they hope to show off the updates to the public in early 2018.
With North Ogden’s population rapidly growing every year, it was time to update the local library. The overcrowded 23,000 square foot library has been too small for the growing community for quite some time. This renovation has more than doubled the size of the library, which originally opened in 1983.
The increase in space means significant room for new attractions. Before the renovation, there were two designated computer areas: one for children, one for the general public. After the renovation, a third computer area will be available, this one made specifically for teens. This teen area will include touch computer screens as well as other high-tech tools. The library will have 49 computers in total for the public to use. There will be 12 in the expanded children’s area, 12 in the new teen area, and 25 for general use. And if 49 computers aren’t enough to keep up with the demand for internet usage, high-speed WIFI will be available throughout the entire library. This includes WIFI access in the newly created “Reading Garden.” This “Reading Garden” will be a tranquil, peaceful place to enjoy all of the content the library offers. While you take in the ambiance of this new garden, you will also have access to coffee, soda, and a variety of other sweet treats from the library’s very own café.
Even with all of the new and exciting features the library has, the expansion left plenty of room for other important features. The renovation provided a space for an exhibit area. This is an area where different artists will be asked to feature their work throughout the year. The library will now also offer large public meeting rooms, personal study spaces, as well as group study spaces.
The aesthetics of the library will also be dramatically different. Described as “futuristic,” the new library will feature plenty of modern art, technology, and architecture. A large skylight will provide the library with ample natural light. There will also be a grand staircase connecting the upper and lower floors. Improvements have also been made to the outside of the library. The parking lot will feature 111 parking spaces, up from the original 46 spaces. An entrance has also been added to the south end of the branch that leads into the lower floor.
All the delays, closures, and construction seem to be worth it in the end. The final product is going to be a beautiful and spacious building that will provide wonder and exploration for many years to come. The public will be pleased with the final product. When library Executive Director Lynnda Wangsgard was asked what she liked most about the new branch she said, “I’m excited for the café’; I’m excited that this place will be a place to hang out. It won’t just be a library, it’ll be a destination.” This library won’t be your average library. No, it will be a place to learn, gather, have fun, study, celebrate, relax, and do many other things.