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Library makeover aims for 'visual impact'
Terri Anderson searches for a book through the corridor of shelves and windows inside the Monroe Public Library, Tuesday, April 8. (Times photo: Anthony Wahl)
MONROE - Books take you places you never dreamed of, but starting this month, Monroe Public Library is going to become a whole new world.

For about two years, library board members and staff have been working toward an interior makeover for the library, which still has much of the same furniture as when it opened in 1996.

Now, the planning and fundraising is transforming into substantial remodeling and redecorating, thanks entirely to donations.

"It's so wonderful that all this is being done through donations," said Suzann Holland, the library's director. "This phase is going to make an immediate, visual impact."

The children's area will get some bright, new colors - tangerine, blue and green, which will pick up the color scheme in the mural in that area, Holland said.

In fact, new paint throughout the library is just the start to the fresh palette creating another world for readers.

Shelves on the first floor will move away from the windows, allowing more natural light to flood in through the expansive wall of windows. Tables and lounge chairs will move in near the windows to provide some comfortable reading spots.

Holland also said the library will become more technology-friendly, particularly with powered tables designed for laptop use. Meanwhile, audio and video materials will get new shelving. And an LCD panel will give patrons better access to library news, upcoming activities and general information.

"Pardon our dust this month," Holland said.

And once the dust has settled, new, upholstered furniture will arrive.

Board of Trustees President Gary Neuenschwander said the design changes will pave the way to making the library "more relevant, more efficient and more helpful" to its patrons.

"It is our hope that the library truly is a place to gather and grow, and these renovations and others down the road will make that a reality," he added.

A substantial portion of the donated funds being used for this $140,000 project phase is a bequest from the estate of Marion Deppeler.