While COVID-19 has impacted renovation plans, the North-East Branch of the Kansas City Public Library renovation remains on track.
The library, which has been undergoing renovations since , has moved materials and services across the street to 5930 Wilson Rd.
“The impact of COVID-19 has altered our initial plans for the interior layout of the building,” Branch Manager Amanda Barnhart said. “Supporting safer practices to deter virus spread have impacted our decisions to modify the floor plan.”
While these decisions have not affected the structural renovations at all, they have led to the reorganization of spaces to better support social distancing.
The reopening is still scheduled for the original targeted date in Fall 2020. The library plans to host a soft reopening on Monday, November 16, and a grand opening after the Thanksgiving holiday.
Planned renovations will include numerous upgrades to better meet the needs of the neighborhood and the diverse visitors who rely on the library for access to services, resources and materials.
Both the interior and exterior are being renovated, including the children and teen areas, upgraded technology, a new children’s programming space, a new home for the library’s refugee and immigrant services, more foreign language books and materials, improved study rooms, collaborative spaces, meeting rooms, furniture, shelving, tables and staff areas.
Exterior renovations include fresh landscaping and improved parking lot access. Other physical facility updates are mechanical, HVAC, electrical, plumbing and roofing.
The North-East Branch opened in this location in 1989, combining the public libraries previously housed in Northeast High School and East High School, which is why the name has a hyphen.
In October 2019, KCPL held a series of community engagement events to gather feedback from neighborhood stakeholders, educators, business owners, leaders, teens and organizations that serve the immigrant and refugee community.
Currently, the library is establishing a community advisor group to assist in the development of a digital exhibit featuring the numerous murals throughout Northeast.
The summer reading program is in full swing. Readers who complete five books before Aug. 31, 2020, can earn prizes.
The North-East Branch is providing Pop In/Pick Up holds service to provide contact-free ways to borrow books, DVDs and CDs. The service is available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.