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Your Library Reimagined project coming to full fruition

August 3, 2018
By TIFFANY REPECKI ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

The Sanibel Public Library reopened on Aug. 1 and patrons stopped in to see the changes.

The library closed temporarily in July to complete utility work tied to phase two of the Your Library Reimagined project and to relocate library materials. The building's overhaul, which was completed in two steps, entailed working on a portion of the library while keeping the other open, then switching.

Phase one - the start of the project - kicked off in May 2017 and wrapped up in January.

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The new youth area at the Sanibel Public Library with books, games and computers.

"The word of the day is 'wow,'" Executive Director Margaret Mohundro said.

People have noted the natural light, redesigned set up and modern dcor.

"People think it's been an expansion and it hasn't," she said.

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The renovations to the building included overhauling the 25-year-old mechanical, plumbing, fire suppression and electrical systems, along with the wireless networks and heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Larger windows maximize the natural light and LED lights offer energy efficiency.

At a total cost of $5.9 million, the project also included four new study rooms, two computer labs, a new Archives Room with digitization capabilities and larger outdoor reading porch, among more.

Mohundro pointed out that the library was not at full operational capacity as of Aug. 1.

"There's a couple of key areas," she said, adding that about 25 percent of the work remains.

Mohundro explained that some of the shelving finishing remains at the factory, which the library expects to receive within the month. In addition, the old circulation area remains under wraps.

"There's been some structural work being done there," she said.

The work is affecting that corner of the library and the two meeting rooms below. When the final space is open to patrons, it will include a small computer lab, staff work space, service desk and sitting area.

"They'll both be full entrances with staircases and elevators," Mohundro said.

The work is expected to be finished in four to six weeks.

The library is still organizing its archives of historic photos and documents, and additional furniture and technological equipment has yet to come in, like digital catalogs for the sides of the shelving.

"A lot of technological upgrades, so fine tuning that," she said.

Mohundro noted that it was anticipated more time would be needed for a few final projects.

"Until we really dug into it, we didn't know for sure," she said.

However, the library's overhaul is still on track.

"Our goal all along was fall 2018," Mohundro said. "We're still on time and under budget."

Activities are tentatively planned for the fall to reintroduce the community to its updated facility.

"We're really appreciative of how positive people have been," she said, noting the hard work that staff has put in and acknowledging the public's patience and support throughout the project. "We love it."

For more information, call 239-472-2483 or visit online at

The Sanibel Public Library is at 770 Dunlop Road.



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