A reader’s renovation

A glimpse inside the recent Antioch Public Library District renovations.

This+is+the+current+foundation+for+the+future+conference+rooms+of+the+APLD.+These+conference+rooms+are+located+in+the+recently+built+extension+of+the+library.

Nora Oksanen

This is the current foundation for the future conference rooms of the APLD. These conference rooms are located in the recently built extension of the library.

Beginning in the summer of 2017, the Antioch Public Library District had begun planning to renovate and expand its building. In the early winter of 2021, the library started its construction, which has been expected to cost a hearty $9.6 million and plans to provide an updated space for the Antioch community to engage. 

The most interesting aspects of the APLD renovations are its rejuvenated community spaces:

  1. The APLD is planning to implement a new teen-exclusive division of the library, which will be open during the weekends.
  2. The children’s project room will be expanding to offer larger programs. For example, crafts, clubs and more activities will be hosted for younger kids in this project room.
  3. The library is having a fireplace installed in its common space. 
  4. An update to a previously existing library-offered service is its new studio, which plans to provide crafting materials and technology for public use, as well as crafting classes.
  5. The library is also planning to build new conference spaces that are intended to fit 10-12 people.
  6. Through community donations, the library is installing a Garden Walk, which is planned to be an outdoor walking space that displays colorful and vibrant plants.

According to the APLD, the updated library is planned to offer an inspiring environment for collaborative work, as well as small business support.

Head of marketing and communications at the Antioch Public Library, Becky Jacobson, analyzes how the Antioch community reacts to recent renovations.

“There has been an outpouring of appreciation for what’s happening since the job is actually in the works; people are seeing it happen,” Jacobson said. They’re fully understanding what the community is getting.

For the time being, the APLD has opened a “Little Library,” which operates in the western half (the part of the library currently not under renovation). The Little Library offers a small portion of the total books typically supplied at the library; it has been to maintain reading in Antioch during renovations. Choosing which books to shelve in the Little Library has been a recent challenge.

A lot of time and energy was taken by staff to decide which [books were] staying and what was going to go off into storage so that we could fit into this small building,” Jacobson said.

As mentioned, renovations have focused on expanding community spaces. Antioch Community High School Information and Learning Center Head Librarian Barbara Mason gives details on how a library serves as a community space regarding the ILC.

“Our space is interesting: during the regular school day, we will have students using it to study; we have classes coming in to use the conference rooms to hold their meetings; we offer the Makerspace, which is a dual-purpose place for students to either just come and work on their individual projects,” Mason said.

Renovations are expected to be finished sometime in the Spring of 2023. Stay posted for more information on these exciting upgrades.

Click here to view more model images.