Middleton Library Remodel Planned

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By: 
Michelle Phillips
Top to bottom: A rendition of the new kids area and Friends Bookstore; An image of how the new front desk area would look after the library remodel.

 

 MIDDLETON–The Middleton Public Library will undergo some changes in 2019 in an effort to more efficiently use existing space, with a remodel, named Next Chapter. A 2015 study of the building estimated that the library would need to triple its current square footage to accommodate the volume and needs of consumers. 

“This project is making the most of what we have while we have it,” said Jocelyne Sansing, Middleton Public Library Director.

The city is in the early planning phases of creating a community campus that would link city offices, the Middleton Senior Center and the library, but until that happens, the library will work to utilize the space the best they can. Sansing said there are several areas that need improvements, and by reconfiguring the space those needs can be better met until a long-term solution comes to fruition, which will be several years.

The remodeling project will focus on three main priorities:

• Increase Public Square Footage

• Creating Flexible Spaces for New Ways of Gathering

• Improve Customer Service Experiences 

One of the areas in need of additional space is collections, and she said the library has a very robust loan program. “We are relying more and more on inter-library loans,” Sansing explained.

The front desk and help desk with be consolidated and there will be less space for employees to make way for additional meeting and study rooms. The bathrooms will get an upgrade to make them ADA accessible and Friends Bookstore will move to the main floor with hours matching the library.

“This will give us a chance to experiment with what we might do on a larger scale in years to come,” Sansing said.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2019 or beginning of 2020 at a cost of $500,000. Sansing said the library will use $300,000 of its own funds and raise the other $200,000 through donations, fundraisers and naming rights. They will be working with the Madison Community Foundation and the donations are tax deductible.

Sansing noted, “We are not asking the taxpayer for money from the city fund.

“If you donate $100, you get a yard sign, and there are opportunities for naming rights,” she said, and added that the rooms are good for memorials, honorariums and companies.

Sansing said the library will remain open through most of the construction and some of the work will be done early in the morning. Though the library will need to close for a couple of days in the fall, “We plan to keep everything flowing as much as possible,” she said.

The Middleton Public Library, founded in 1927, has undergone seven major evolutions. Since its last update in 2004, total programming attendance has grown a staggering 688 percent. Technology use at the library continues to surge, with on-site Wi-Fi use increasing 325 percent over the last three years. At the same time, the library has maintained its position as a national leader in circulation for a city of its population.

“Libraries used to be built around the things they hold, now they’re built around people,” Sansing said.

She said the library used the Middleton firm HGA to design the plan and BSI of Appleton will execute it. She described them as being “skilled and experienced in working with existing space.”

In addition to the reconfiguration of space, the building will get new paint, flooring and furniture. Flexibility of the space will also be implemented.

For more details on Next Chapter features, facts, naming opportunities, and ways to give please visit: midlibrary.org/nextchapter.

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