WESTBROOK – Over the past 27 years, residents have traveled to the Westbrook Public Library on Goodspeed Drive to check out books, read magazines, surf the Internet, and attend meetings of various community organizations. But soon, residents will have to travel elsewhere.
January 13 will be the last day residents can visit the facility before it closes to make way for a $4.2 million renovation and expansion project.
The Literacy Volunteers Office has already moved to Essex and those who have relied on the library’s community room have sought other meeting locations in town.
In mid-February, Daniels expects the Westbrook Public Library will re-open in the former Goodwill store on the lower level of 688 Boston Post Road, next to the New Deal Restaurant.
While the 4,400 square-foot space is smaller than the current facility, Daniels said, it does feature high visibility from Route 1, has plenty of parking, and is handicap-accessible.
The relocated library will feature a variety of books including the children’s collection, the multimedia collection with DVDs, VHS tapes, and CD’s, reference materials, and current periodicals.
These materials have already been turned down on the shelves of the Goodspeed Drive facility, Daniels said.
Older books and less frequently materials are in the process of being packed up into storage and now show up in the library’s online catalog with a “checked out” status.
Daniels expects computers at the Goodspeed Drive facility to be moved into the temporary location which will offer a wireless circulation department and wireless Internet service.
While there will be two areas that will be converted to staff workspaces and both patrons and workers will enjoy the amount of parking at the building.
“The windows are one of the nicest features,” of the former Goodwill store, Daniels said, adding that natural light will beam into the room from all four walls.
“The area envisioned for the children’s section has large bay windows,” Daniels said.
It is expected that the relocated library will maintain its present hours during the approximate fourteen month period.
Before the Goodwill store is converted into the town’s library, Daniels expects there to be a three or four week period when Westbrook will not have a library.
For computer access, Daniels said residents can visit the Westbrook High School Library’s technology lab.
Residents are asked to register at the main office, Daniels said, adding the arrangement is made possible because thanks to Principal Bob Hale and School Librarian Nikki Giangreco.
Daniels recommends that residents visit either the Acton Public Library in Old Saybrook or the Henry Carter Hull Library in Clinton during the closing period since both offer a lot of library services and have extended hours.
According to its Web site, Old Saybrook’s library is open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The hours of operation of Clinton’s library, according to its Web site, is Monday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Daniels said residents should ensure their library cards are valid since renewing of library cards will not be available during the closed period.
The process of renewing one’s library card is simple, free of charge, and allows the patron to borrow materials at any public library in Connecticut.
It is predicted that residents will be able to return to the renovated and expanded Goodspeed Drive facility when it reopens in spring 2008.
The project will completely renovate the existing Westbrook Public Library and provide expanded room for computers, young adult section, large print collection, books, periodicals, audio and video materials, and library work space.