AUBURN — Eckhart Public Library is inviting the community to make one last visit to its temporary Auburn Plaza location before it closes, allowing materials to be moved back to the historic main library.
Auburn Plaza Farewell Parties will be held Wednesday, Dec. 11, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. at the temporary library, 1029 W. 7th St., with hot cocoa and cookies served.
Eckhart Library board and foundation members will be on hand to answer questions about the transition back to the main library at 603 S. Jackson St., which was damaged during a July 2107 arson fire. They will give a sneak peek of the renovated library and share some of its features.
Library staff members will be available with information about how, and where, to continue using library services and materials, including digital materials, during the transition period until the main library reopens.
An opening date has not been set and will depend on when the library’s elevator inspection is complete. Patrons are encouraged to check out materials before the temporary location closes. Materials checked out and due during the closure will have loans extended.
New adult and children’s books and materials will be available at the Willennar Genealogy Center, 700 S. Jackson St., and Teen Library, 705 S. Jackson St., from Dec. 16 until the Main Library reopens. Computers will be available for public use at the genealogy center.
The Willennar Genealogy Center will be open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. The Teen Library will be open from 2:30 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
The library will observe special holiday hours. On Dec. 23, Dec. 27-28 and Dec. 30-31, the Willennar Genealogy Center will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the Teen Library will be open noon to 5 p.m.
As always, many materials are available by request using the Evergreen Indiana library sharing system, and digital items are available through digital services Overdrive, Hoopla and Kanopy.
“We are so grateful to have had this space for the past two years to continue serving the community,” said Carolyn Foley, president of the Eckhart Public Library board of trustees and Eckhart Library Foundation. “Our community continues to respond generously to our capital campaign, which has helped restore the main library and taken into account many improvements that people had asked for at our historic library for years. We can’t wait until we’re back in the building and they can see how far it’s come.”
The renovated historic library building, which began construction in 1910 and was last renovated and expanded in 1996, includes a ground-level entrance facing the library park and fountain, a more accessible program area, updated stenciling in the library’s historic side, and a revamped children’s department that more prominently showcases the beloved Secret Garden.
Throughout the entire building, attention has been given to making as many areas public as possible, including several areas previously used as private offices or closed to the public. The entire technological infrastructure has been replaced. Maintaining the building’s status on the National Register of Historic Places has been a priority throughout the restoration and renovation process.
The library is unable to extend its lease at the Auburn Plaza location beyond 2019.
For Every Citizen, the library’s capital campaign, launched last year and has raised more than $10 million toward its $12 million goal. The campaign seeks to restore and renovate the main library and purchase books and materials to replace the collection that was destroyed; make other capital improvements across the library’s buildings; grow and expand teen services; and create an endowment for maintenance and emergencies. The James Foundation continues to match donations. More information about the campaign is available at foreverycitizen.org.