Library Renovation

Before and After Gallery

Mouse-over each of these "Before" images to see what it looks like today. This page may take several moments to load on slower connection speeds.-

In the fall of 2008, the Thomaston Public Library began a year long process of renovation and re-invention. Using grant funds from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation, the Maine Community Fund, and donations from the community, the library has undergone substantial change. Shelves, furniture, rugs, even walls and windows have been changed and updated. Our new facility boasts a third more floor space than we had a year ago today, 20 brand new windows, a new children's room, more than double the number of public access computers, and two fully furnished living room areas for comfort reading and study.

Before the renovations, this corridor housed a conference table for meetings. The room to the right was a classroom being rented by the Midcoast Christian Academy, which has since moved to a different part of the Academy Building. The classrooms became the new Children's Room. A sign for the library hung on an otherwise blank wall around the corner.

Today, the corridor hosts the Hallway Bookshop, a used bookstore operated by the Friends of the Library. All proceeds from the Hallway Bookshop go to the support of the Thomaston Public Library. The hallway bookshop also offers a Keurig coffee machine and comfortable seating facing the entrance to the Children's Room, so parents can enjoy their coffee while watching their kids. Where there was once a blank wall, there is now a window into the library's main floor, and the sign now hangs above the circulation desk.

The main floor of the library saw some of the heaviest renovation. Six aisles of shelving were all moved to the lower level of the library, letting in light from the windows that surround the room. The circulation desk was moved across the room and shrunk, so that it could be managed by a single staff person. A staff room located behind the circulation desk, a tiny space that three librarians had been crammed into, was opened up for DVD and VHS shelving.

 

Tall shelves surrounding the stairwell were removed, and placed downstairs. All the shelves that remained were left at six feet in height, allowing light from the windows to fill the whole room. New furnishings were brought in to create two living room areas, and new rugs were purchased for the floor. Our new "Community Living Room" is now a bright, cheerful place where you can read the paper, visit friends, or have a meeting.

The Lower level of the library was formerly home to the Children's Library, and occupies a space about equal in size to the main floor. During phase one of the renovation, the children's library was moved upstairs - during phase two, a brand new room was constructed for the Children's Room. These pictures show the final results of the change to the lower level - from children's room to what we call "the stacks" - the adult fiction and non-fiction collection.

Many of the original furnishings from the children's library were replaced with new materials (see below for photos of the New Children's Room). The computers, for example, were replaced with donated IBM netvistas from the local Kiwanis - and the tables were replaced with sturdy wooden desks donated by the Chewonki Foundation of Wiscasset. Almost all of the shelving in the new children's library was built to custom sizes by local contractors, allowing the shelving in these pictures to be re-used in the main floor of the library.

 

The new Children's Room was opened in in December of 2009, and is in a room that was once three small classrooms. In these photos, the MCCA had already moved to their new classrooms, and the rooms were being used for storage.

A second door was installed where a storage area had previously been, and the walls separating the three rooms were removed (except for some support beams). A window, matching the one installed into the wall of the main wing, was placed into the wall of the new space so that parents in the bookstore area could look in and see their kids at play.

Shelves were installed along the walls of the new room, and aisles were created with shelving that had formerly been in the downstairs area. All of the shelves in the middle of the floor were mounted with castor wheels, so that they can be moved out of the way during programs and events.

 

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors the Thomaston Public Library was able to make all these changes with virtually no cost to the town or citizens of Thomaston. But there are still projects underway as we move on to the second phase of our renovations - the Trustees and the Friends of the Library are always active in fundraising efforts, to keep our library modern, efficient and comfortable. Future plans include the installation of an HVAC system for the comfort of our patrons and the long-term protection of the collection, hopes for a new entryway and a roofed in porch for the parking lot, and upgrades to the stairwells and elevator areas for increased accessability.

If you would like to help the Thomaston Public Library achieve these goals, please consider joining the Friends of the Library in their fund raising efforts, or make a tax-deductable contribution today. For information on the different options for making a donation, contact Head Librarian at (207) 354-2453.