When Patricia Graziano was growing up, her local library was her favorite place to be.
“I used to live at the library,” she remembers fondly. “I’ll never forget how much that children’s area in the library meant to me.”
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Which explains why Graziano is one of the many Edgewater community members excited and invested about the new library coming to the city in 2018.
The new about 10,000 square-foot library is part of Edgewater’s Civic Center revamp project, which will be located at Harlan and 20th Avenue, near the Walker Branch Park.
“The great thing about the new civic center building is it will have all kinds of shared spaces like council chambers and the gym for community events,” said Kelly Wemple, architect with Humphries Poli Architects, the agency heading the construction project. “Now libraries are more about involvement in the community than just books, so that kind of space is great to have.”
The current Edgewater Library, 5843 W. 25th Ave., is well loved by community members like Graziano, but is pretty slight, compared to most other Jeffco Libraries. Its size is right around 1,200 square-feet, and though a lot has fit into the space, an upgrade is needed.
“As a regular visitor and computer user, the staff there are so great,” Graziano said. “If I wasn’t from this community and aware of it, I’d walk in and right back out again because it’s so small.”
Jeffco Library wants to ensure the new library has something for everyone, including children, teens and adults. But to get it just right, they’re reaching out to their patrons.
At one meeting on Sept. 28 at Happy Leaf Kombucha, about a dozen interested residents turned up to share their ideas and hopes for everything from technology to children’s and teens areas, as well as potential uses of outside spaces.
“We’re going to take all the input we get from this and other meetings and work that into our layout and design,” said Julianne Rist, Jeffco Library’s project manager for Edgewater. “The best thing for us is to give Edgewater the space it needs and wants.”
For Wemple and the rest of the staff at Humphries, there are four key principals that make a good 21st century library — empowerment, experience, innovation and involvement, and that’s what they’re looking to bring to Edgewater.
“We want the library to be a reflection of your city,” said Dennis Humphries, principal with Humphries Poli. “How can we make this feel like residents’ home?”
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