Renovations at Destin Library to accommodate 'what people want'

Matt Algarin
With drop cloths hanging from the ceiling and construction workers a common sight, renovations at the Destin Library are expected to be complete by next week.

When visitors walk into the Destin Library in the coming days things are going to look a little different as construction wraps up and new spaces are opened.

"We started seeing a couple of years ago that there was a need for tutor space and study space," Library Director Jurate Burns told The Log Tuesday. "Then we asked ourselves what else is there that people want to do right now?"

Construction on two additional study rooms and a media lab began roughly three weeks ago at the 10.5-year-old library situated along Sibert Avenue.

Burns said the additional study space will allow people to come and meet in a quieter setting. The digital media lab will begin by having some basic equipment, then will grow from there based on the needs of the community.

To make room for the additional rooms, Burns said the library staff along with volunteers from the city's Youth Council had to shift around some items, as well as eliminate about 4,000 volumes from the library's collection.

"I was in stacks weeding through things for about a year," Burns said. "Initially it's not hard, until you get down to about the last one thousand or so items."

In addition to the study rooms and digital media lab, the renovations will also include a revamped adult reading area, a designated teen space with furniture and a continued focus on shifting technologies.

Burns said that the library has plenty of space, especially given the renovations, where people are more than welcome to come in and teach classes on a variety of topics.

The library currently offers its patrons a 9-seat computer lab where classes are offered on a regular basis for all age and knowledge groups. Classes include basics such as email and internet to social media platforms, digital editing and photography. Additionally, there are 12 computers available to users in the main part of the library.

Construction on the $56,000 renovation project, which was funded completely thorough library impact fees, is expected to be completed by next week.

"People are coming to the library more to meet and create things," Burns said. "We wanted to be able to accommodate that. We have the space, so let's get the things in here that people want."

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