Before the “big reveal,” consider how the library has created new space out of old space all along without increasing its footprint since the addition of the Children’s Wing. Do we want teens and tweens to use the library and love it? Give them their own spaces. Thus, the Teen Room and the Tween Room belong to those age groups and look like it. Books contained in those spaces are aimed at their demographics.
Do our patrons have an ever-increasing demand for technology use, from young to . . . a lot less young? We can remember that there was a big magazine room where now we have an all-purpose computer lab. And we didn’t forget the magazine fans either although we have considered that it’s a dwindling group. But patrons can actually download countless more magazines to their devices as one example.
But the newest rooms added to the library are truly different than any we’ve seen before. This demanded construction rather than furnishings and re-decoration and, due to pandemic delays, have been in the planning two years.
By the end of July, we will have two new conference rooms for our use! In fact, you can go upstairs right now and see these in their final stage of construction. They are beautiful, light, and airy “fishbowl” style rooms to accommodate small groups.
Director Pamela Williams noted that, “We want to thank the Edward E. and Kay Sue Johanson Library Endowment and Capital Improvement Fund managed by the Frankenmuth Community Foundation. This fund is set up for long term capital improvement plans for the library community and welcomes donations.”
One of the rooms will have a screen with screen beam technology for group sharing from anyone’s Bluetooth device. The Gleaner Bavarian Arbor Group funded this technology enhancement. For those concerned about everyone standing around and reading their overheads on the screen, both rooms’ glass will be frosted in the middle for a semi-private environment. (Still, I had a friend whose office was a fishbowl design who sat around crying a lot, not a good look. He should have had regular walls. Just saying.)
Just as there are companies that design banks, colleges, and other public buildings, there are also ones that design for libraries. Library Design Associates, Inc. advertising “innovative solutions for libraries” has designed these conference rooms. Although we consider them permanent fixtures, in fact they could be moved in the event that our space needs shift in the future, not an unlikely event, making them a particularly flexible investment.
The location near the top of the stairs at the south end of the building was the winner of several locations considered for these rooms. I think you’d have to agree they look beautiful there. The Trendway glass used shows no joins in the glass panes from the bottom frame to the top. You’ll also notice that both rooms have their own ventilation and extend all the way to the ceiling.
Possible uses might be small group meetings of two to five, conference calls, interview spaces, and tutoring sessions. Pam commented, however, that these rooms “are not study rooms. Please use the downstairs Mossner quiet room for your study needs.”
Rooms can be reserved by Frankenmuth patrons (tax payers) or are available on a first come, first serve basis. Library policy is currently being developed and will be made available to everyone soon. But these rooms definitely are not to be used by “for profit” groups soliciting or selling products or services.
Completion of these rooms is another great indication that life is presently returning to normal at the library.
Summer fun is still in full swing, of course, so please keep track of activities on the library’s FB page and website. Stop by and take a look at what Trendway describes as its tempered glass conference room “upscale aesthetic.”
See you at the Library!
(By Roz Weedman for publication in the Frankenmuth News on July 14, 2021.)