The nano library gets a new home

Imagine walking into your local library, hoping for the next installment of your favorite series. But to your dismay, when you arrive, you find a small cramped space, with long transfer waits, no study area and more picture books than encyclopedias. This is the kind of library space the people of Bigfork have been dealing with for the past 34 years.  Even staff members of Imagine IF foundation see the issues in what they sometimes like to call their “Nano library” as put by Charlotte Housel, Foundation Head.
Housel says, “We’ve redesigned it, and done everything we can to make it exciting, but there’s a limit to what we can do with a space that size.” After a review of the region’s libraries, the Imagine IF foundation has decided to take Bigfork’s 1,400 square foot library and add 4,600 square feet. Unfortunately, there is not room to remodel in the library’s current location.
Since an addition is not possible, the Imagine IF foundation will be purchasing a building which currently belongs to the Bethany Lutheran Church. Imagine IF hopes to own the building by mid-October.
Although they will own the building, renovations as well as fundraising $1.6 million will take . This puts the new library is expected to open by mid-spring 2020: these renovations will take so long because they have many impressive things planned for this new location, including new sections, and new programs.
The foundation hopes to cultivate an intergenerational program, in which all generations would bond over the joy of reading, and older generations can help students with literacy programs and job preparedness. Additionally, with new programs comes more spaces, such as study areas, a public meeting space, and a kitchen.
Despite all these changes, Imagine IF would like to retain some of their previous methods, such as the self check out. 
“Imagine IF tries really hard to make sure that their staff is there to help customers and interact with them, so whenever we can automate a practice that’s not an especially fun interaction… we do that so the staff can spend more time actually talking to people, and helping them find what we need,” Housel says. “Self check out is also a really nice way for privacy,” She adds.
Imagine IF will also continue to have interconnected libraries, so for those who do not like to wait for books to transfer, Imagine IF has developed an app called Libby.
Libby is an online library that only requires your library card to sign up. On the subject of the library’s new size Housel said, “The bigger impact will be the kinds of things people can do at this library…With this new library we will be able to do these kinds of things and really design programs that meet the needs of the people.” 

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