Originally published April 29, 2013.
A change in location and more square footage has given the Roanoke Public Library a new look and much more potential.
Library Director Celia Bandelier says the move has opened the door to new possibilities.
"We held our book brigade on March 2 and slowly transitioned to our new location from March 2 to 18," Bandelier says. "We officially opened on March 18."
She says the relatively smooth transition was aided by the fact that the library was formerly confined to 1,300 square feet, whereas the new building is a comfortable 3,000 square feet.
"We are now able to spread out and have designated areas for our different sections," Bandelier notes. "Each designated area has been named in honor of one of our major sponsors."
As they enter the library, patrons must use the Huntington County Commissioners Entryway and Hallway.
For those who prefer to nestle by the fireplace by the front seating area, they can read in comfort in the E.J. Richards Reading Room. Other areas include the Parkview Program Room, PNC Grow Up Great Kids Area, Friends of the Library Young Adults Section and the Tractor Pullers Association Additional Shelving Area.
Bandelier's new home away from home is the Bippus State Bank Director's Office.
"We have already seen an increase in the number of patrons since the move," she says. "While we're still getting adjusted to the new space, we have been slowly upgrading."
Upgrades include a large screen, projector and surround sound speakers in the program room, Bandelier notes.
"Our kids' area is much bigger and we added a train table which is very popular," she says. "Also, we now have a space designated for our young adults, which allows them privacy for study away from the smaller kids. We've had a few come in over spring break and hang out in there with their iPads."
Bandelier says the new layout is more user friendly.
"Before, we had no space to spread out or expand," she says. "But since the move, even our book inventory has increased. I have been able to order a lot more."
Bandelier says that she has added book series that the library previously hadn't carried. Also, she is in the process of expanding the catalog of classics.
"In the future, the goal is to add three more computers to the ones we already have here," she adds.
Also in the planning stages is an increase in programs to be offered by the library, Bandelier notes.
"Right now, we are still offering the Tuesday morning Children's Story Time, at 10 a.m.," she states. "We hope to add a genealogy program in the future as well."
To celebrate its new location and donors, the library will be hosting a grand opening celebration on Saturday, May 4, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
"We will be holding our grand opening as part of Roanoke Spring Fling," Bandelier says. "Patrons and visitors can come in and tour the building."
She adds that patron and local author Peggy Sue Wells and her daughter Estee Wells have been organizing an authors' meet and greet event. At least 16 Indiana authors will be at the grand opening, meeting with fans and signing their books, which will be available for sale.
"I know that some of the authors have already agreed to donate a portion of their book sales to library," Bandelier says. "Also, I think the number of authors may increase as last time I heard, Peggy was still looking to add more to the list. It's going to be exciting."
She adds that the "new" library will continue to serve the community, just in an enhanced capacity.
"The move was good because with more space, we are now able to do so much more than before," she notes. "We will definitely be offering more programs and more books. Right now, we just excited and getting use to all the extra space."
The new location for Roanoke Public Library is 314 N. Main St., Suite 120, in the former Coil Factory building.
For more information, contact Bandelier at 672-2989 or visit www.roanoke.lib.in.us .