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The Library Is Not Just a Building

Published on Mon, 07/16/2018 - 09:59am
Hall of Waters

This spring, Mid-Continent Public Library kicked off a Capital Improvement Plan that called for the renovation or replacement of all 31 of its branches. Currently, five branches are temporarily closed for construction, and as those begin to reopen, another group of branches will close for upgrades.

The Excelsior Springs Branch was one of the first branches to close, but customers here have a unique option for conducting their library business while the branch is closed—a temporary, mini Library branch inside the Hall of Waters (the 80-year-old building where the Excelsior Springs City Hall is located).

Branch employees certainly did not undertake this effort alone, and any and all successes we have seen have relied upon help and support from all directions. City officials in Excelsior Springs were gracious enough to provide us with this space and allow us to move all of our storytimes and other programs to either the new community center or a nearby park.

And from MCPL, we’ve had tons of logistical assistance and advice from our administrative team, other branches (which have been willing to take some of our items temporarily), and the absolute rock stars in the IT Department who have bent over backwards to make everything work surprisingly smooth in our temporary location inside the Hall of Waters, which was never really meant to house a library.

We greatly appreciate all of this support because we’ve been committed to maintaining some presence in the community during construction. You see, we have many customers that rely heavily on our services—from books to public computers and Wi-Fi—some of which can be difficult to find elsewhere in our city. And for our customers who were unable to travel to the next closest MCPL branch, we felt a temporary location would be even more helpful.

Having to “boil down” our services to offer them on a smaller scale has given us a greater appreciation for our own staff. It’s shown us that while the technology that MCPL uses is amazing, it’s not the most important part of the Library. The buildings? Also not the most important part. The most important part of our Library is the people and how they connect customers with information, edification, and entertainment.

Don’t get me wrong—we’re more than eager to move in and get going in our newly renovated Excelsior Springs Branch a few months from now! But in the meantime, we’re just glad to be able to continue serving our customers. If you get a chance, stop by and see us at the Hall of Waters in downtown Excelsior Springs!


Eric C.
Excelsior Springs Branch

Comments

Thank you to all who have made it possible to keep the doors open. Was in there Sunday, quite impressive at the set up. IT WORKS!!

From Mary Pasalich (not verified)
Tue, 07/17/2018 - 05:16pm

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