The Ames Public Library will close for business Thursday and move to the Lincoln Center so that a $20 million renovation and expansion project can begin.
The library will close 9 p.m. Thursday. And Friday volunteers will assemble and begin packing an entire collection of books, CDs, periodicals, shelves and furnishings and move to its temporary location at 620 Lincoln Way next to Hobby Lobby adjacent to the East Hy-Vee.
Residents can check out as many books as they want right up until 9 p.m. Thursday when the library will close. Staff expect to reopen at the Lincoln Center location on the morning of Dec. 10.
The library will cease all services including the Bookmobile during the move and people can keep everything they've checked until the reopening.
“I'm hoping they don't all bring them all back on Dec. 10,” said Jillian Ocken, Ames Public Library community relations specialist.
A book drop will also be set up outside the temporary location at 620 Lincoln Way if people want to return something earlier.
Story times will resume the week of Jan. 14, but library staff is still working out the details on the additional programing it provides at its current location. The renovated and expanded library is expected to open in August 2014.
And the temporary space, the former Hastings store, is much smaller.
The entire collection will be available, but it will be scrunched onto fewer shelves, Ocken said. Staff plan to use the very bottom rung of each shelf and add one additional stack on top and filling them completely to make sure everything will fit.
The temporary library will still offer some seating and study areas, a smaller computer lab and a cafe area. But some activities will have to be held off site.
“It's harder moving out than it will be moving (back) in,” Ocken said adding that moving back in comes with an immediate reward of a great building.
“Now we are moving to a smaller or less ideal place, but the light is still there at the end of the tunnel,” Ocken said.
Voters approved an $18 million general obligation bond referendum for the project in November 2011. When all is said and done the 48,000-square-foot library will be about 77,000 square feet and have a complete second story. The original 1904 building and 1940 addition will remain intact.
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