Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

February 11, 2013

Extreme Makeover

Catlettsburg library will reopen Thursday

Carrie Stambaugh
The Independent

CATLETTSBURG — The Catlettsburg branch of the Boyd County Public Library has been extensively remodeled and will reopen Feb. 14.

The branch at 2704 Louisa St. has been closed since Sept. 29 for a major overhaul.

A grand opening ceremony is planned for Valentine’s Day with ribbon-cutting at 9 a.m., followed by tours, refreshments and an eReader giveaway. The branch will be open until 6 p.m.

Library Director Debbie Cosper said patrons of the library are going to be “pleasantly surprised” at the results of the overhaul, which included a reworking of the public and staff spaces and a new roof, wiring and lighting.

“To me it looks like a library now,” Cosper said. “It just looks modern, and that is what we wanted for Catlettsburg. Catlettsburg needed to have the quality of services and buildings that we have throughout the county.

“Before it wasn’t as welcoming and as easy to get around. I think the whole library is going to be more accessible to the whole community.”

TSHD Architects of Ashland oversaw the remodel and Portco Inc. of Portsmouth was the contractor. The contract included “green” specifications, which means much of the material removed from the building was recycled, and energy efficient lights and fixtures were used.

KPC Architectural Products of Lexington did the public space layout, including furniture, the new circulation desk and shelving.

The project cost about $170,000 for the physical remodel and another $60,000 for interior furnishings. The funds had been in the library’s capital outlay budget for about three years.  

Ductwork was moved to add more height to the middle of the building and Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant restrooms were installed, rooms were painted, new carpet laid and furniture purchased, along with the addition of a larger meeting room. A new front desk includes a book drop, and there is a new small-children’s space, new office and work space for staff and comfortable seating and study spaces. The branch continues to offer public computers and shelves filled with books, movies, magazines and music.

The 2,400-square-foot branch is a former dress shop. It opened in September 1983, with 3,000 books on its shelves. Before the remodel, it had nearly 13,000 items.

Cosper said the library will no longer have a permanent collection of items. “We’ve changed the focus to a more popular materials collection,” she said. “There is not enough space to keep a permanent collection in that library. If it doesn’t check out, it doesn’t stay.”

Patrons will still have access to the interlibrary loan system to get books not on the shelves in Catlettsburg.

Regular programs at Catlettsburg will resume as soon as the branch reopens. The first one is an adult craft program, making chalkboards out of old picture frames, on Feb. 16. Cosper said the renovations will allow the Catlettsburg branch to do more than ever before.

“We’re going to do programming we haven’t been able to do in the past. We haven’t had a space to do that,” she said. A new meeting and media room will have movie-style theatre seating, along with additional tables and chairs.

Barbara Biggs, who was recently hired as BCPL’s branch manager, will oversee the Catlettsburg branch, as well as the Kyova branch in the Kyova mall.

“Her focus is going to be not only bringing in people to the library branch, but bringing library services out into the community,” said Cosper. “We’re going to be partnering with some new community groups as well.”

The phone number at Catlettsburg is (606) 739-8332.

CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at (606) 326-2653 or cstambaugh@dailyindependent.com.