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May 24, 2010

Gaithersburg Public Library closes for major renovations

by Masha Lafen, Online Sports and Entertainment Editor
The Gaithersburg Library closed May 15 to undergo a two-year renovation process. An interim library will open later this year in the Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg. Meanwhile, Gaithersburg Library users will have to visit other Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL).

The newly renovated Gaithersburg Branch of the Montgomery County Public Libraries is scheduled to open in 2012. Courtesy of Maryland State Department of Education
The newly renovated Gaithersburg Branch of the Montgomery County Public Libraries is scheduled to open in 2012.
The renovated library, which is expected to open in the late spring or early summer of 2012, will be rebuilt with an updated design, heating and air conditioning systems, furniture, and equipment. The renovations will expand the main floor and add a 7,500 square foot second story. "The design of the building is beautiful, very striking and modern," library manager Linda Gimourginas said. "I think the design of it will appeal to the community." The renovation is expected to cost approximately $26 million, according to Gimourginas.

The new second floor will hold a meeting room, classrooms and an office for the Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity, while the expanded ground floor will house an improved children's section and include a new "Young Adult" section of the library. Gimourginas noted that the renovated building should be able to serve the public more efficiently. "We have a lot more space on the ground floor for library activities," she said. In the renovated library, patrons will be able to go upstairs and have their questions answered directly at the new office. MCPL Public Services Administrator Rita Gale called this convenience "a perfect blending of services."

County officials are still trying to finalize plans for the temporary location for Gaithersburg library services. "The ability to open that facility depends on so many factors that it just is going to be up in the air for a while," Gimourginas said. Gale said that she hopes the interim library will open in late July or early August.

The temporary library will provide materials services, but will only hold 7-15 percent of the capacity of the original library, according to Gimourginas. Additionally, the temporary library will not provide computers with internet access due to space restrictions at the temporary facility.

The interim library facility will also have a proportionally smaller staff than the original Gaithersburg library. The staff of Gaithersburg Public Library will be relocated to other branches of MCPL, which will need more staff during the summer, according to Gimourginas."They're going to be extremely busy this summer," Gimourginas said of the neighboring libraries.

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  • :) on May 24, 2010 at 3:02 PM
  • staff member on May 25, 2010 at 10:45 AM
    Meanwhile, Montgomery County is laying off and cutting hours for library staff.
  • Jitu on June 2, 2010 at 12:50 AM
    does it really take 2 years to build a new library?
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