The Enumclaw Library was the gathering place Saturday afternoon as the community came to check out the new building and service upgrades made under management by King County Library System.
The building had been closed for most of November for renovations but opened this past Thursday for service. Saturday's open house was an opportunity for staff to share the new enhancements with local residents and dignitaries alike.
KCLS Director Bill Ptacek and Enumclaw Mayor Liz Reynolds were on hand to welcome visitors. Children's singer and songwriter Nancy Stewart and the Gateway Concert Band provided entertainment, and guests enjoyed refreshments provided by New York Catering while checking out the increased number of computer terminals and other technological upgrades including three new self-checkout stations.
Improvements to the library have been underway since June 2012, when the library annexed to the King County Library System. Following the Nov. 28 reopening, interior enhancements were made including those already mentioned as well as new furniture, carpet, paint, new computers and a cyber computer bar for laptop users.
A children's Story Time series, which includes toddler and preschool Story Times, launched in September. Study Zones, a free tutoring service for students, started last month.
Patrons have access to KCLS’ catalog, which connects them to a collection of more than 4.5 million items, including books, music and movies.
Former owner of Enumclaw Music Barb Shane said she was impressed by how spacious and user-friendly the library is becoming. "This library has a fabulous staff," she said, "and it's great to see familiar faces as well as new ones."
Local artist Nancy Cary said she's been coming to the library about once a week and appreciates the new computer stations. In all, 16 public computers and a second print station were installed.
Library Board member Jim Barchek remarked that he was impressed with what wasn't obviously visible inside the library: that there are in fact more books on the shelves than prior to annexation into KCLS.
Prior to April's annexation election, local opponents had worried that the personable service the Enumclaw library was known for would be lost. But Anna Godfrey, who just moved to Enumclaw in May, found there was no such problem. She said she'd been frequenting the library with her daughter enough such that "I know the librarians by name. We feel very welcome coming here."
The upgrades were nice too, and she's grateful the library is now open again.