January Director's Dish

Another year has come and gone and, as I write this, I can’t but help wonder if 2017 will pass by as quickly as 2016. My assumption is, ‘yes, it will… and it may pass even faster!’. Some early indications leading me to have this belief concern, namely, the ongoing work to open the new Marblehead Peninsula Branch Library later this year.

Without doubt, this is an exciting and unique opportunity for the Ida Rupp Public Library system. Opening an entirely new branch (or any type of point of service) isn’t nearly as common today as in the past. The relatively close, and recently opened, King Road Branch library, in the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library system, really is the exception, not the norm. Currently, most building construction projects in the public library realm concern, while still significant accomplishments in their own right, renovation or additions to an existing structure. However, regardless of the type of construction project, this opportunity affords Ida Rupp a tangible chance to re-connect with our greater community, a chance to re-evaluate our current services and priorities, and a chance to, as a library system, grow into a bigger presence: a main location in Port Clinton and two vital branches in Put-in-Bay and the Marblehead area.

You can expect, and of course are welcome, to visit our website and Facebook page to read current branch updates and view photos of construction progress. Since January 3, our general contractor, The Spieker Company, in conjunction with our architectural firm, HBM, have been hard at work inside the branch building. At the moment, non-support walls (studs) are being removed, channels for conduit are being cut into the concrete floor, additional windows and doors are being framed, and electric boxes are being installed. To see this activity come to fruition, resulting from years of planning, strategizing, campaigning, and confirming financial support by you, the public, as well as the board, staff, Friends, volunteers, and the Library Committee of Marblehead-area based Ex Libris has been overwhelming. I cannot anticipate the sense of fulfillment and closure for many at the branch opening, which will occur sometime this coming Summer. But, as we all know, the opening is just the beginning of a long and valued relationship between library and community.

Between now and the opening, library staff will be hard at work building a collection (books, audio, movies, and the like), determining operating hours and staffing, arranging technology setups, and planning, of course, opening day festivities (to name just a few responsibilities). It is my hope that this new addition to the Ida Rupp library system will provide a balance, just like the Erie Islands Library at Put-in-Bay, by providing services unique to its immediate community while seamlessly fitting into the collective whole.

Please keep warm this Winter and stay tuned for additional news on this exciting project. And, it goes without saying, thank you for reading. Sincerely – Tim

Tim Hagen, Director

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