To commemorate Loutit District Library’s current building turning 10 years old, and the library celebrating 20 years as a district operation, an open house is planned for 2-4 p.m. Saturday at the library, 407 Columbus Ave.
A birthday party for the building will be held 2-3 p.m. Tuesday, July 16. The party for children will include activities, stories and treats in program room A.
On average, about 150,000 people visit Loutit District Library. In 2018, 388,000 items (books and movies) were checked out or downloaded.
With the help of the Tri-Cities Historical Museum, Jeanette Weiden, of the library’s history and genealogy department, created displays to showcase the facility's history including pictures, a circulation record book from 1914, original blueprints for the 1967 building and information about the building’s dedication.
Weiden noted that some items from the old Carnegie Library are used in the genealogy department, including a circulation desk, tables and bookcases. Chairs just outside the department are also from the previous building.
The 10-year-old portion of the building stems from a voter-approved millage. Library Director John Martin noted that some of the project funding also came from fundraisers and donations.
The 21,500-square-foot addition included a parking garage, youth wing, study rooms, fireplace, lobby, restrooms, administrative offices and staff work areas. The old building was renovated for the history and genealogy department, adult wing, copy center, program rooms, Cheapstacks Used Book Store, reading area and computer room.
Currently, construction crews are working on the library’s Columbus Avenue entrance to address the concrete stairs and brickwork that Martin said had started to deteriorate over the years. The project is slated for completion in the coming weeks.