DEARBORN – Library staff members are looking forward to a public event celebrating the re-opening of the newly renovated Henry Ford Centennial Library in May, welcoming the public back to see and use the extensively updated 50-year-old building.
Details of the May event are still being worked out. It will mark the completion of the renovations, which are designed to meet patrons’ evolving expectations, and to add energy-efficient elements.
Chief among the updates are:
• Complete replacement of the heating and cooling system.
• LED lighting.
• A reorganized second floor and the addition of more electrical and charging outlets for laptops, cell phones or tablets.
• Renovations of the second floor restrooms.
• Renovations of the east side of the mezzanine, which will now include new group study rooms; a large conference room; a collaborative workspace called the Spark Lab; a relocated computer lab and digitization lab; and more single-person study booths.
• Replacement of the wallpaper and carpeting.
• The creation of a snack lounge with vending machines on the first floor.
The library should reopen to the public by May 1. It is not unusual for the extensive nature of the renovations to be affected by unpredictable delays. With all big and small projects intertwined, a short delay in one phase can be compounded over time, as one contractor must wait for another contractor to finish their portion of the renovation, city officials said.
In addition, the library staff anticipates needing several weeks to put the extensive collection of materials back in order once the renovations are complete.
All materials, including books, CDs, DVDs and more, were removed from the building before the renovations began. Many were available through the branch libraries, but a significant amount of materials are being held in storage.
Both the Bryant and Esper branch libraries have extended their operating hours during the closure to accommodate residents. They are open Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.
In addition, more computers have been set up in the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce Conference Room on the first floor of the Bryant Branch Library to assist patrons.
Once HFCL re-opens, patrons can expect a more accessible, comfortable and modern main library that will continue to be a source of information and learning.
For more information, go to dearbornlibrary.org or call Library Administration at 313-943-2037.