Work concluded on upgrades to the Lane Road Library’s front desk and a staff work space, the latest in ongoing projects to enhance the facility that opened in 1975.

On Jan. 9 and 10, the Lane Road Library, 1945 Lane Road, was closed for the project.

The work included a replacement of the front desk, as well as the creation of a staff workroom that will better separate receptionist interactions with patrons from more behind-the-scenes work regularly conducted by staff, according to Kate Porter, assistant director of the Upper Arlington Public Library.

“The old service desk was 17 feet wide and about 40 inches tall,” Porter said. “The new service desk will be approximately 13 feet wide and 30 inches tall.

“The new desk will be significantly smaller and less imposing, particularly to our younger patrons. It will also free up a little bit of space at the entryway.”

Porter said the front desk project, as well as the walling-off of space for a staff workroom was funded by $50,000 in donations made by A. Jean Clark, who recently died. Porter called Clark “an avid reader and big library user.”

“These were projects we were interested in for some time, but we weren’t able to do them until we received these donations,” she said. “We don’t have a lot of extra resources on hand.

“We’re very grateful for when opportunities like this become available.”

The recent projects come on the heels of renovations and other upgrades to the Lane Road Library.

Last May, approximately $520 was used from the library’s general fund to purchase new exterior lighting for the building.

“The exterior lighting that was installed is more efficient and improved the lighting all around the building,” said Greg Ramage, UAPL’s director of support services. “That should be a security upgrade, as well.”

Last July and August, several dying trees on the outside of the library also were removed, and evergreen shrubs and flower grasses were planted near its entrance.

Stone also was laid in the flowerbed to stop erosion contributed by a nearby creek. That project was roughly $2,925 and funded through the library’s general fund.

About a month later, the UAPL unveiled two drive-up book returns outside the Lane Road branch.

“The ribbon-cutting was on Sept. 27,” Porter said. “The library now has two drive-up book returns.

“Previously, patrons had to get out of their cars and walk up to the building to return materials.”

The book return project cost $13,522, Porter said.

“Approximately $11,000 of that money was donated by individuals and the Friends of the Library,” she said. “The remaining money came from the library’s general fund.”

Before the service desk and staff room work that concluded last week, the Lane Road branch also had new carpet installed on the first floor. The $30,035 project was funded through the library’s capital budget.

“We’ve really been focusing on trying to address some needs at Lane Road and bring it up to date,” Porter said.

Ramage added that when the new staff workroom was created, it allowed materials return slots to be installed inside the library, as well.

He noted that the project should enhance patron convenience, as they now can drop returns into the slots. It also would help staff perform a variety of duties, including allowing those working at the front desk to focus on patrons who come to the desk with questions or other issues.

“Previously, that was a large, open space,” Ramage said. “Sometimes, that work by staff can be a little noisy and we think the room will provide a more peaceful environment.”

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