By Janet Dodrill
Prior to construction of the new building, there was much controversy surrounding the sale of the former building, the charming and historic William E. Telling mansion. It is claimed that the a private sale was made by library officials without the consensus of tax payers. The library claimed that the building was too expensive to maintain and did not lend itself for newer technology and accessibility. The Telling mansion was purchased by an individual who will convert the former library building into the American Porcelain Museum, due to open in spring of 2016.
The new 30,000+ square foot library is very impressive and offers state-of-the-art technology not available at the old library.
An expansive and interactive activity children’s area modeled after the book, Journey by author and illustrator Aaron Becker, has over-sized constructions, movable magnets, and hanging displays, all modeled after its book illustrations.
The youth area houses comic books which can be checked-out, a homework assistance center, and has an attached sound studio for audio recording.
3-D printers will travel from library to library within the Cuyahoga County Public Libraries.
A much improved larger DVD browsing area with plenty of room to walk through multiple movie racks.
Skylights and a sense of openness in the large main room, which houses the main information desk, books racks and public computer terminals. All computers have been upgraded.
I was personally impressed with the new technology training room which will offer free technology classes, and the computers are open to the public in-between classes.
Two double-sided fireplaces and all new contemporary furniture, coupled with tasteful fixtures from the previous building, like table lamps, add style and atmosphere, with designated quiet areas. A writer’s center, and individual meeting rooms with sizes for small business meetings to larger capacity conference rooms are available for reserve in at least 2-hour increments.
The natural light is wonderful, and there is a real sense of unique spaces there.
I was honored to provide the artwork for the limited edition library card, available through October 25th.
Despite missing the much-loved and unique former location and historic Telling mansion, I am very impressed with the accommodations, technological updates, and comfort the new library brings. Below are a few recent photos.
(Text and photos copyright Janet Dodrill. Not to be used without prior permission.)