When you look around the library these days, one thing you won’t see are construction workers. Whew!

That doesn’t mean there isn’t more to be done. In separate projects we will be installing audio/video components to upgrade our meeting spaces, creating an outdoor parent/child early learning and literacy-based discovery center, adding some more signage and making other improvements I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

The library foundation is also working on updating the donor wall. We sure appreciate every donation for this renovation and want you to know that all you have to do is look around and see the benefit of your generosity.

Plenty of people have been looking around and enjoying the newly renovated library. We’ve had lots of public input lately and so much of it has been positive and inspiring. Your comments about our staff are especially gratifying, since they are here for you day in and day out no matter what.

During National Library Week you were given a chance to tell us “Why I Love My Library” and we heard back:

  •  Everyone is so helpful!
  •  Friendly, helpful staff
  •  Awesome service, awesome staff
  •  The librarians are my literary angels!
  •  The STAFF (incredible)
  •  I love how the staff makes you feel welcome and safe here.

Well, we love all of you too! In our last library use survey, we received a 92% excellent/good rating for customer service. We listen to patron comments and take them to heart to do our best job possible.

We know that plenty of you are looking around and enjoying your library. The other day one of our staff members relayed to me a patron’s delight with our new entrance plaza garden and her question about one particular plant. I was able to answer her question and I invite you to look at these purple Kobold Blazing Stars (and research) for yourself the next time you stop by.

Many patrons have told us how nice the entire entrance plaza looks, how visible and accessible we’ve made the Legacy of Literature and Mark Twain sculptures with our streamlined layout, and how much easier it is to get to our front door protected from traffic.

Some other comments we’ve heard lately:

"Beautiful interior! Comfortable and welcoming atmosphere! Huge reading selection! I love this library!"

"Best place to study in G.I., HANDS DOWN."

Also:

-- People from all nationalities say they enjoy the hospitality and peace promoted by learning and reading.

-- A patron meets her tutor here several times a week said likes how the front of the library has changed with its new designated Meet Up areas.

-- One gentleman is blind and his hearing is bad but our audios help him to keep reading. He really loves the westerns. He also gets audios from the Nebraska Library Commission.

-- A student said he really likes using the redesigned study rooms. We have seen many teens in the study room playing board games.

-- We also had a young man from another county here doing an internship that said our library was so nice.

We’ve received so many nice comments about our awesome maker space and stories about patrons telling their friends to come to the adult Cricut classes that Elle does.

And of course, since this is summer reading program time, we’re getting lots of positive feedback from children and their parents, grandparents, and teachers, from teens and even from our adult summer readers.

Whether you are a frequent library user or one who hasn’t been in to see us for quite a while, we encourage — challenge — you to take a look around and find so much to enjoy at our newly renovated library!

Steve Fosselman is the director of the Grand Island Public Library. Email him at SteveF@gilibrary.org.

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