Upon opening, the first thing visitors will notice is how much bigger and lighter their library has become. No longer congested, the floor space is now expanded from 3,240 to 5,932 square feet and the whole interior looks and feels wide open.
Thanks to the Friends of the Ilwaco and Ocean Park Timberland Libraries’ contribution of $70,000, new lighting will make the contents of the shelves easier to read and the aisles easier to navigate. The donation also covered some of the new shelving.
Visitors will be welcomed with new spaces and all new furnishings. Larger, comfortable seating areas will encourage people to linger for reading and conversation. A separate area just for teens and more room for the children have been created. Windows in the seating areas in the back of the expansion offer natural light and views of the woods. The spaciousness of the library’s interior is enhanced by a high, vaulted ceiling, a fresh coat of warm off-white paint, and new carpet throughout.
Two public restrooms will be now be available, not just one. A larger staff workroom for processing and handling library items will allow staff to serve the public with greater efficiency. A new checkout and information desk will be installed in January. In the vision for the future, but not yet funded, is a patio outside the addition. A grand opening celebration will be held in February.
Right along with residents, library staff members are eager to be in their transformed library. “We’re sky-high, over the moon,” said Ocean Park Library Manager, Iver Matheson, “Watching the crew during construction has been exciting, but it really hit us in the past couple of weeks.”