Seating, comfort for patrons a priority for library officials

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MANISTEE — The Manistee County Library’s devotion to patrons is as tried and true as the historic building it has called home since 1905.

In keeping with that theme, as well as the times, library officials have made recent improvements to its main branch — 95 Maple St. in Manistee — and plan to make more in the near future.

“Our goal is comfort for the patrons,” said Debra Greenacre, executive director of the Manistee County Library. “These days, we get a lot of people who come to utilize our WiFi, thus creating the need for more seating areas.

“So, one of our big goals — especially for the summertime, when we get the most visitors and have a lot of patrons in here at one time — is to create a more comfortable setting with more seating to suit those needs.”

Greenacre said patrons should stay tuned for rearrangements in the months to come.

“We have plans in the works,” she said. “Our nonfiction section was weeded over a year ago, so we already have a lot of space to work with. … The tables here now are wonderful, and certainly add a nice touch, but, for today’s library, we’d like to add smaller, cafe-style tables and chairs.”

With future projects pending, patrons will notice an improvement that has already taken place on the landing of the stairwell on the southeast corner of the building. New seating has been added as well as a television screen, projecting a rotating slideshow of current and future programs the Manistee County Library has to offer.

The latest and upcoming upgrades to the library follow a trend of recent years.

In 2016, a long awaited and much needed heating, ventilation and cooling system (HVAC) project was completed in the main branch.

And in the fall of 2017, the library’s most frequented entryway — the staircase closest to the library’s parking lot, located northeast of the building — was remodeled, thanks to a large donation ($50,000) from the Friends of the Library.

The entrance was originally built as a loading dock, but patron usage increased over the years, due in part to upgrades to the library’s parking lot. It was reconstructed for improved safety and aesthetic appeal, including construction of a wider staircase for two-way foot traffic; accompanying railings; a canopy; and new energy efficient light fixtures.

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Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

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