Sunday, May 6, 2012

An Outstanding Library

In 2004 MPL was named outstanding library of the year by the Indiana Library Federation (ILF).  The award was given as a result of the Library's ACCESS campaign, which began in 2002 and continues today.  In case you missed our promo trailer in our previous blog posting, we'll reprise it below.

MPL Promo (i.e., Program) Trailer #8
Got Access? (Library Card)
(Click Play Button in Image to Start Video)

ACCESS was the brainchild of former MPL Director Lynn Jurewicz and her successor, Diane Huerkamp, who served as Lynn's assistant director and became the Library's director in 2005.  Participating community businesses offer price discounts to Library cardholders, which means money in patrons' pockets.  Having an MPL ACCESS library card (and, beginning in 2008, an Evergreen Indiana library card) pays more than just excellent programs and diverse resources and materials.  It was a brilliant melding of library and local business marketing.  ACCESS has served as a model for other public libraries seeking to reach more patrons in their service districts.

Current MPL Director/Librarian Diane Huerkamp (Since 2005)

Emphasizing MPL's newly declared outstanding library status, Ms. Huerkamp and the Library Board implemented a plan to construct an addition to the 1988 building.  This construction plan was first formulated as early as 1998, when the Library Board began to entertain the prospect of further expansion of the facilities.  Many feasibility studies and financial planning meetings later, MPL was fiscally well-situated in 2005, when construction began on the new addition.

Aerial Photo of MPL Addition Under Construction (2005)
(Click Images to Enlarge)

The new construction added 24,500 square feet to the 1988 building, which was 12,000 square feet.  The addition effectively tripled the size of the original structure.  With the grand opening (February 27, 2006), patrons were introduced to an 18-station computer lab, six-station computer mini-lab, local area network (LAN) that accommodated wireless connectivity, significant expanded shelving for all collections, separate study rooms and a new Bonita C. Marley Community Room, a Young Adult Zone (YAZ), enlarged Circulation Department, a dedicated Indiana Room for genealogical, state, and local historical information, new offices and staff room, and a technical services area.  Nearly the entire 1988 Library was converted into a massive Youth Services Department.  A basement provided storage space, with a future renovation option converting the space to public use. Outdoor areas were designated for a courtyard and children's programming.  If you visit the Library now, you will see all of these facility features and much more.  Here are photos taken during 2006.  Let's begin with the most important room in the Library, at least from my vantage.

 Exterior Photo of MPL Indiana Room & Media Alcove
(February 27, 2006)

Northeast Side of the New Library Addition
(Taken During the Grand Opening Ceremonies)
(February 27, 2006)

New MPL Front Entrance & Parking Lot
(January 2006)

MPL Grand Hall (2006)

MPL Circulation Desk (2006)

MPL Indiana Room (2006)

MPL Adult Services Information Desk
(MPL Information Technology Specialist Judy Morehouse
"holding down the fort" in Reference)
(YAZ in background)

Young Adult Zone (YAZ) (2006)

MPL 18-Station Computer Lab (2006)

MPL Youth Services Entrance (2006)

 MPL Youth Services Department (2006)

 MPL Youth Services Department (2006)

Entrance to MPL Children's Programming Room (2006)

MPL Children's Programming Room (2006)

Local Historical Photographs Along Hallway
to Bonita C. Marley Community Room (2006)

 Bonita C. Marley Community Room
(Front to Back) (2006)

Bonita C. Marley Community Room
(Back to Front) (2006)

One of MPL's Study Rooms (2006)

Paul Hadley Art Gallery
(in the MPL Grand Hall) (2006)

 MPL Media Alcove (2006)

 Browsing the Adult NonFiction Stacks (2006)

 Media Browsers, Music Collections & Ready Reference (2006)
(Now used for Young Adult shelving & Music)

Patrons Reading (Indiana Room
in Background) (2006)

We have plenty more pictures from 2006, but this posting is rather graphics-intensive, so perhaps we should defer to another time.

This is the Mooresville Public Library with which patrons are familiar today.  Surprisingly, the adult nonfiction collections reached three-quarters capacity by 2008, requiring moderate collection deselection, or what collection development librarians commonly term "weeding" of outdated, worn-out, or damaged items.  By 2011, adult nonfiction and fiction both were nearly to shelving capacity, requiring an intensive "weeding" that continues presently.  (The Youth Services Department "weeds" its various collections on a continuous basis, whereas the Adult Services Department tends to wait until shelves are filled.  Both approaches depend upon staff being available to undertake this highest of labor-intensive collection management practices.)

The 2006 addition truly brought MPL to maturity.  By the Library's centennial (2012), MPL is well-equipped to do what it has done for a century--serve its community's growing informational and educational needs--for today and for many years to come.

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