Ames library to undergo renovations

Carly Mckinney

The Ames Public Library will receive a facelift within the next few years.

With a $20 million budget, the library will be undergoing renovations, expansions and will be adding new technology and print media for its users.

Lynne Carey, assistant director of the library, said the renovations will include adding a second floor, improving heating and cooling systems and better insulation to make the building comply with high efficiency standards.

Geothermal energy also is being looked into for use.

The original architecture is being protected so the library won’t lose its historical feel.

The finalized project will expand the library to be 77,000 square feet upon its completion, according to library staff.

The library will become more handicapped-accessible as the entrance will be moved to street level, and all bathrooms will be made handicapped-accessible as well.

The library also will add an elevator, along with two staircases.

According to library staff, there will be fewer walls to make the library feel more open, and meeting spaces will be expanded.

The auditorium will be larger and moved toward the front of the library for easier access. Carey said there will be a dedicated teen space, more study rooms and services available for users of all ages.

More books and computers will be added to the library’s collection, and Carey said the library also is planning ahead by expecting a “reasonable growth rate,” meaning the library has room to add 3,000 items per year for 20 years.

Library staff said these renovations are necessary, as they are running out of room to fit the needs of the public.

During the renovation, all items will have to be moved to a temporary location.

Carey sasid there is no place in mind yet, which “may seem irresponsible, but places we have looked into are already full.”

The library will approach finding a temporary location closer to the start of renovations. The budget for such a move is included already in the $20 million dollar plan, which the library is adamant about not exceeding.

These renovations will not be finished for another three to four years, so most current students will not be able to enjoy the benefits, but Carey is assured that users of all ages will be able to utilize and enjoy the new Ames Public Library, including ISU students.