Thursday, October 27, 2016

Bathrooms, Cabling, Clouds: Your Construction Update - Little Falls Refresh

At Little Falls, the bathroom floor area on the lower level, has been refilled with concrete. Large and small sized piping, a mixture of both PVC and copper material, is beginning to appear in those spaces. All this activity is done with the strict adherence to the design and drawing elements since the end result is the provision of new, functional bathrooms to be enjoyed by the community. We are getting there.
The provision of more seating spaces and access to additional electrical power outlets also constitute the focus of this phase in the refresh process. Consequently, the electricians are diligently pulling their data and electrical cables through overhead and floor based conduits. There will be more to come on this in the near future, but suffice it to say that at the Little Falls Library our community will be connected, and definitely delighted.

As a quick aside, it was interesting to read in the Bethesda Magazine, that the County Libraries were giving assistance to commuters who were affected by the Metro track repair program by offering the services which we have as an alternative. Seating, internet connection, and accommodation are all part of MCPL's regular offering.

I mentioned "Clouds" in the title of the blog, and hasten to explain what these are in relation to our building refresh. Located at the new information and circulation stations, and hanging from the ceiling are two circular shapes, ... clouds, ... which, with embedded lighting, will illuminate the spaces below. As a design feature, with the mural mentioned in the last post as a backdrop on the wall, this area will be one of the outstanding points in the refresh.
And the work continues, with more to be reported as the construction shifts to another phase.

Don't forget that our core programs are being continued at off-site locations. The Literary Salon, the Adult Book Discussion Group will meet for its final book discussion program for this Fall at the Chevy Chase Library. If you are visiting the Chevy Chase Library as an alternative location until Little Falls is re-opened, it may be possible to pick up the book for the November book discussion which will take place on Wednesday, November 16, 2016, from 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM. The book to be discussed is Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories, by Anthony Marra.

Our Little Falls English Conversation Club continues to meet at the Fourth Presbyterian Church, 5500 River Road, Bethesda, MD, 20816. Sessions for the month of November will meet on November 4, and 18, 2016, from 10:15 a.m.- 12:00 noon. And, more to come.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

So, What's going on with the Refresh at the Little Falls Library?

As a follow on to the last blog information given, and in keeping with our promise to keep our stakeholders and all our customers apprised of the refresh endeavor at Little Falls, here goes. The rebuilding process within the library has begun, and work is proceeding along at a steady pace. Workmen have been busy adding drywall sheets to locations specified by the work plans, so that the transformation process can take place.

Men at work
One location which has already changed significantly is the place where the sturdy circulation desk once stood, where customers returned and checked out their materials. That is gone, and in its place one will find a more compact arrangement, where both the circulation staff, and the information staff will function. As a backdrop to these stations, there will be the mural on the wall, which the Friends of the Library, Little Falls Chapter, commissioned, as gift to the Library, to celebrate its 50th Anniversary. This is being moved from a location where one had to be informed that it existed, to one which makes it visually available to all. Additionally, there will be a wide screen monitor providing digital signage, which will inform all within the Library of the programs and activities available at Little Falls.    
The mural emerges
The workmen are also engaged in the laying down of the electrical and data lines to those parts of the library which have been designated as additional seating and functional locations, which the refresh is providing. These areas are at points throughout the library where one can not only sit and enjoy the library's materials and ambiance, but also a view of the library grounds. Imagine being able to sit on the upper level, at the western end of the library looking out towards the feeder road which leads to both the library and the Westland Middle School. Trust me, ... the view is priceless!

And, this blog would not be complete without reporting on the toilet facilities. Work continues on the remodeling of the bathrooms on the lower level. The old fittings have been removed, the foundation has been excavated, and new pipes laid where necessary. Masonry work is next on the list, and you will be informed of the progress as we evolve to completely new toilet facilities for all. We are getting there.
Plumping pipes
The Literary Salon, the Little Falls adult book discussion group, will meet again at our Chevy Chase branch for the October book discussion. This program will take place on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, from 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM. The book title for the program discussion is The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Hamid Mohsin. This item is being held at the information desk at the Chevy Chase for those persons who wish to participate in the discussion. While you are there, it may be possible to pick up the book for the November book discussion which will take place on Wednesday, November 16, 2016, again from 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM. The book to be discussed is Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories, by Anthony Marra.

Our Little Falls English Conversation Club continues to meet at the Fourth Presbyterian Church, 5500 River Road, Bethesda, MD, 20816. Classes for the month of October will meet on October 14, 21, and 28, 2016, from 10:15 a.m.- 12:00 noon. 

More updates to come...


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Mr. Librarian, What's Happening to the Little Falls Library?

Bare floor at Little FallsAs you know, the Little Falls Library is closed for a refresh, which will last for a period of about 6 months. We hope to reopen the library sometime in January 2017.

If perhaps you happened to make it into the building right now, you would be greeted with an enclosed space devoid of the regular library materials with which one is accustomed. In some areas the book shelves have been removed, and key stations around which there used to be a tremendous amount of activity, the Information Desk, and the Circulation Desk, are all gone. A closer look would reveal that even the carpet tiles throughout the building have been removed, and that the concrete flooring is staring back at you.

And, to respond to the question, "What's happening to the library?" here's an update. Now that those areas which have been slated for demolition have been removed - the Information Desk, the Circulation Desk, almost all the shelving in the Children's area, and about 40% of the shelving in the Adult area - the building is ready for the refresh activity.
Partially gutted Little Falls

In the "pipeline" in the near future will be framing and construction activity in areas where needed. This includes complete re-wiring throughout the building to accommodate the technology updates which will be introduced when the refresh is completed. There will be ample electrical outlets to allow for multiple users with their devices, together with a robust WiFi hardware for accessing the internet.

New shelving and furniture arrangements within the children's area hold the promise of an exciting, accommodating new area which will have the capability of flowing over to the meeting room if necessary. Public restrooms on the lower level are all presently gutted and will be rebuilt and refitted as part of this refresh. The Little Falls library will also have a special area dedicated to our teen population.

Bare shelves at Little FallsThere is indeed a lot that is happening with the Little Falls library. We will keep you informed as the refresh takes place.

As a reminder to all, if perhaps you have holds on items which you are awaiting, and still have the Little Falls library as your pick-up location, please change the pick-up of the item to another location. This can be done online or can be requested of any of the librarians at the library which you are using during this refresh period.

And keep viewing our blog for updates.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Getting Ready for the Refresh

Little Falls lower level.
There has been a tremendous amount of activity at Little Falls over the past two weeks as the staff prepared the building for the refresh project. All staff members have been cleaning out their respective work places and packing materials which can be re-used when the branch reopens.

The children's area on the lower level has transformed from a wonderful collection of books, toys, AWE workstations, computers,  picture books, DVDs, and CD's to an open space occupied by carpet squares There is indeed ample space for all of the characters in our picture books, housed on shelves along the walls, to come out to play.

Books on their way to storage.
Library materials have been boxed, labeled, and transported out of the branch to be stored in one of the county's warehouses until the end of the project. The empty space enclosed will be transformed within the next six months into a beautiful layout of new shelving, colorful furniture, and new and returned library materials, which we are all anxiously awaiting. The excitement is growing among staff, now that the project is underway.

Our first floor entry, on the upper level, will also see some changes, which will emerge as the refresh progresses. Based on the plans displayed during the last few weeks, we can look forward to more and improved seating, among other enhancements.

A well earned lunch.
Our library staff enjoyed the last day in the building with a wonderful lunch which was funded by the Friends of the Library, Little Falls, an organization which continues to be a great advocate for the Little Falls branch. We also took the opportunity to hold a birthday celebration for a staff member whose birthday fell on that day.

Little Falls staff members have been sent to nearby libraries until the refresh project is completed. Little Falls customers visiting these branches may be greeted by familiar faces.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Closing Down with Magic!

Parents, children, grandparents, and librarians were all treated to a program of magic and wonder as the Little Falls branch presented one last performance program before closing on Saturday, July 9, 2016 for its 6 month refresh project. The program, performed by Abracadabra Alex, was funded by the Friends of the Library, Little Falls, as part of the Friends summer offering to the community.

Now that the Little Falls is closed, Where can we go for library programs?

Children who registered for the Summer Read and Learn program at the Little Falls Library can complete it, and pick up their badges and prizes, at any other MCPL branch.

The Literary Salon, the adult book discussion group which meets at the Little Falls Library in the fall and spring, has decided to meet at the Chevy Chase branch for the upcoming fall book discussions. Titles and dates for the fall discussions will be selected soon.

The English Conversation Club which met on Friday mornings at the Little Falls Library, will now meet at the Fourth Presbyterian Church which is located on 5500 River Road, Bethesda, Maryland.

Parents who are looking for storytime programs for their children in the fall can check the upcoming events section of the branch pages for Bethesda, Chevy Chase, and Potomac or other branches.

Please be aware that the bookdrop at the Little Falls Library closed on Friday, July 15, 2016, at 6:00 PM. Customer should return their library materials to other branches for the duration of Little Falls refresh project.

Friday, July 8, 2016

FAQ's About the Little Falls Refresh

What will be done at Little Falls during the refresh project?

Little Falls library staffThe Little Falls branch will get a new roof, new carpet, paint, totally renovated bathrooms, a re-organization of the children’s area with new furniture and exciting colors, a user friendly re-arrangement of some of the collection, new comfortable seating, many more areas of powered seating, improved Wi-Fi accessibility, a digital display screen, and much more!

What will happen to the Little Falls staff when the library is closed for the refresh?

Most of the Little Falls staff will be assigned, temporarily, to other libraries in the area, which are considered “impacted” branches, since Little Falls customers will go to these locations as alternatives.

What are the other available libraries in the area?

Little Falls library staffThe libraries nearest Little Falls include BethesdaChevy Chase, and Potomac. As an added treat, the Rockville Memorial Library is open from 9:00 AM– 9:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays through September 3, 2016. You may see one of the Little Falls staff members at any of these locations.

What will happen to my holds for which I am way down on the list and do not expect to receive before Little Falls closes?

Customers can go to the orange My Account button near the top of the MCPL homepage to change the holds pickup to any other MCPL branch which is convenient for them. Customers can also visit their nearest branch and ask the library staff to do this for them. In cases where the customer forgets to do change their holds pick up location, the customer will be called by a staff member who will inform the customer that a hold is now available, and that the customer should assign a new location for pick-up.

Please stop by and stock up on your “cache” of library materials before we close on Saturday, July 9, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. And keep checking on this blog for timely updates as the refresh project evolves.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

It's Happening! Little Falls Library Refresh Project!

It’s happening! The Little Falls branch refresh project!

On Saturday, July 9, 2016, the Little Falls branch closes to the public for approximately six months, The branch manager, Ken Lewis, along with the staff will be waving to the public as they exit through the doors, and at the same time communicating to them, “We will see you in approximately six months! Keep well.”

The closure of the Little Falls branch, and the Davis branch a week later, July 16, 2016, comes as a result of a capital improvements project program which provides “key maintenance of selected libraries every year over a seven year cycle, rather than waiting to do major extensive work over a longer timeframe.” This also allows library buildings to get significant and timely updates without having to close for the lengthy time it takes for a full renovation.

Both the Little Falls Library, and the Davis Library, are the second set of libraries in which “refresh” work will be done. The Twinbrook branch and the Kensington Park branch have been the first set of libraries which have gone through this process. Visit those libraries if you can so that you can envision what the refresh holds for Little Falls.