Just in time to close out 2021, Roseburg Public Library completed the second phase of building renovations.

Kris Wiley

Kris Wiley

Kris Wiley

This makeover took longer than the first phase, not only because of the pandemic but because we worked with a number of vendors. It was worth the wait.

The final component of the project, a 24-foot by 7-foot mural, was unveiled last week. It features books, bright colors, trees and part of the library’s mission, “Promote community, inspire curiosity, encourage learning.”

All of the work was done locally. Anvil Northwest, the City of Roseburg’s Destination Marketing Organization, designed the artwork, FCC Commercial Furniture printed it and The Sign Factory installed it.

The mural complements the new bright green booth seating below it and the colorful Children’s Room nearby.

Brightly colored, comfortable chairs, coffee tables, end tables and footstools welcome patrons near the newspaper and magazine browsing area and throughout the library. Three bar-height tables with stools provide another option in the adult stacks area, particularly for browsers who want a quick seat to assess their book selections.

The Ford Room is eye-popping amazing with new carpet, lighting, wall paint and refrigerator. A ceiling-mounted projector and sound system were installed with state-of-the-art technology by High Performance Audio Visual of Roseburg.

Our friends at the Douglas Education Service District are training library staff to use the equipment. One of my favorite features is the ability for multiple laptop users to share their computer screens onto the room’s large screen for the entire audience to view. I also appreciate the sound quality.

For those who need an audio boost, the Ford Room now includes an assistive listening system with six headphones that connect directly to the sound system.

Funding for the second phase of renovations was provided by the Epping Fund of the Salem Foundation, the Douglas Community Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, the C. Giles Hunt Charitable Trust, the Douglas Education Service District, the Friends of the Roseburg Public Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the State Library of Oregon.

What’s next for the library building? We are considering replacing at least one of the sit-down desks that house the public catalog stations with a standing table. Many patrons use these computers only briefly, and a walk-up kiosk is a convenient alternative. We will ensure the library continues to provide ADA accessibility to our public catalog.

We also would like to develop a meeting space that accommodates in-person and virtual programming simultaneously. I think this hybrid model will become standard for organizations that offer public programming, and this is the perfect project to start a new year.

Kris Wiley is the director of the Roseburg Public Library. She can be reached at kwiley@cityofroseburg.org or 541-492-7051.

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