The Montana Branch Library will close today, Jan. 16 for six weeks for the first major interior improvements in about a decade.
Susan Annett, Principal Librarian, Public and Branch Services at Santa Monica Library, said the closure was required so the entire branch could be recarpeted.
“Once you do that, you basically have to take all the books off the shelves and package them up so the carpet can be laid,” Annett said.
“They are putting in some new shelving on the adult side of the library. That requires bolting the shelves to the floor for seismic safety. It’s also being painted throughout.”
Annett estimated there were about 50,000 books in the library.
She said the last time the branch received major interior improvements was in 2001/02 when the community room was built as part of the branch’s remodeling.
“The branch get about 400 to 500 visitors a day,” she said. “That’s a lot of foot traffic.”
She said the branch’s exterior book return box would continue to operate during the closure.
“Anybody can continue to return their books to those exterior book-returns and we’ll bring them to the main library and check them in there until the branch is ready to accept those books back,” she said.
“People don’t need to worry about their materials languishing in the book drop. They will be checked in on a daily basis.”
Montana Branch staff will be reassigned to the Main Library during the six-week closure.
In addition to the new carpet, paint, and shelving for the adult books and media collections, the 52-year-old branch will also receive a new configuration for the adult computers to fix the problem of glare on the screens from a nearby window.
A more efficient service desk will be created; more self-checkout stations will be added to reduce wait times; and additional seating will be created in the teen area.
The Montana Branch will reopen on Saturday, Feb. 25, with an open house planned for the spring.
For more information, visit smpl.org.