21st Century Library Vision

Introduction

Over the past three years the Meadville Public Library has been investigating the need to redevelop its services and spaces to allow the Meadville community to take advantage of the latest advancements in technology and collaboration opportunities.

The normal way such a plan would be developed would be to seek out grant opportunities, line up the funding and then implement the plan, normally a two to five year process.  As you may know the library suffered a small but destructive fire on January 31st.

The Meadville Public Library Board is taking this unexpected opportunity of library closure to implement the 21st Century Meadville Library Project.  The scope of the project is to provide the Meadville community with the services and spaces that are needed to meet our increasingly multimedia-collaborative society. We are making the following innovations:  

Children’s Room:

An area will be a craft center dedicated to creating and developing things.  It will be a maker/craft space with linoleum floors and a sink for those messy projects!  

The Puppet Theater will get a complete makeover top to bottom with all new finishes, theater lighting and a multimedia system with streaming video.  This room will allow both Children and adults to access digital technology in new ways.

Additional resources to the STEM and multimedia teaching collections will allow more students to be able to learn through activities.

In addition, a new circulation desk will allow individuals of all ages to interact with the librarian at their level.  So no more fighting over stools!

We have not forgotten about fun.  The library will be updating our bulletin board and helicopter.  All we are saying, now, is that the bulletin board is going to become much more enchanted.  As for the helicopter it is getting a complete makeover and will become something completely different.

Community Information Center:

One thing that has become obvious to the library during the period of the fire is that there is a need to improve community information and refer people to the correct agency.  In the past the library had a bulletin board that listed services and events that anyone can access which tried to fill this need. Unfortunately, no matter what we did it it always looked messy and was hard to find the information that you, the public, needed.  It just wasn’t good enough. So are throwing out the community board and going to replace it with the Community Information Center.

The CIC will be a space provided by the library to facilitate collaboration with other organizations (community partners) to promote resources to the citizens of the Meadville community.  This will be done by using the web, social media, and electronic signs to provide a community calendar along with community information that the public can use. In addition if someone has a question there will be referral information to get the answer you the public need.

Front Entrance Area:

This new space will be incorporated into the library’s entrance.  It has been thirty years since the entrance has seen any type of updates.  If you look at the top of the Main Floor entrance we still have a sign for Records.  All of that changes now with new finishes directional signs and LED lighting. In addition we are improving the heating system so that there’s a nice warm feeling entering the library.

Main Floor:

In order to maximize our resources MPL is centralizing all of our public access computers into a new seated space on the main floor. We plan to offer a new computer area that will allow patrons to not only use but also learn how to use the latest in information technology.  

We will also introduce charging stations and upgrade our WiFi equipment to make connecting personal devices to the library and the world that much easier.  

Finally, we plan to introduce a new meeting area where patrons can convert and/or create, edit, and share electronic and other types of multimedia projects!  This area will include digital conversion of photos and VHS, and a recording lab and video studio, with video and audio editing equipment. The space will also allow for the creation of crafts and vinyl signs.  

Fiction Area:

Last but certainly not least, we have not forgotten about books.  The Fiction Floor will actually rededicate itself to providing a quiet respite from our digital world by offering nothing but the finest in print materials to the public.  We will be removing the computers and replacing them with book stacks so that we can market and promote the printed word.

Funding:

As with all new initiatives, funding is needed.   We are seeking $50,000 to implement our 21st Century Vision. To meet this goal we turn to you, our long-time patrons and friends. Any level of contribution is welcome;  contributions over $250 will be displayed on our “Contributors to the 21st Century Fund” plaque, to be hung in the newly renovated front lobby of the library. In addition, some naming opportunities are available for larger gifts of $2,500 to $20,000.

Here is a listing of the naming opportunities available:  

MPL3 Puppet Theater 5,000
MPL4 Theme element (old helicopter) 500
MPL5 Craft Area 5,000
MPL6 Main Floor Computer Area 5,000
MPL7 Entry Area 5,000
MPL8 Bulletin Board (sponsored) 250
MPL9 Fiction Stack Area 500
MPL10 Children’s Circulation Desk 3,000
MPL12 Media Room Main Floor 2,000