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Hotchkiss library closes this week for renovation

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The Hotchkiss Library will soon get a facelift, prompting a three-week closure of the branch. Before the library closes, patrons are able to check out entire boxes of materials at once, and keep the items throughout the renovation period. The library will be closed March 17 - April 9.

The library will get new carpeting, a fresh coat of paint and new shelving in the children's area. In the coming weeks, new furniture will replace older furniture, including a couple of new computer tables in the main part of the library, and new seating, a table and DVD shelving in the children's area. New displays of materials will also be added.

"It will be an ongoing project," said Hotchkiss lead librarian Terry Johns.

The Delta County Public Library District identified the Hotchkiss facelift as one of its priorities this year, explained Tracy Ihnot, the district's Communications and Outreach Administrator. She said the district's strategic plan has prioritized needs for similar maintenance and upkeep projects at each branch within the district.

Funding for this project is coming from the Hotchkiss Library Fund, Inc., which was formed in 1998 by community members to fund the addition of the library at Memorial Hall. When the addition was completed, there were funds remaining in the account. This fund is separate from the district monies, and has been earmarked specifically for upgrades to the Hotchkiss branch, Ihnot said.

Work will begin later this week, as library staff, volunteers and Friends members begin the arduous task of boxing all library materials to get them out of the way for work crews to come in and replace carpet and paint.

"We are all just so excited," Ihnot said. "It's fun to visualize the transformation of the children's area -- it really needs it. And we're excited for the families and the children who use the library. They are going to be even more excited than we are."

Johns said it has been 15 years since the library was remodeled, and this "refresh" project is going to be a benefit to the community. "It will be bright and beautiful and we think the community is really going to love it," she said.

The library will reopen Monday, April 10, at 10 a.m. The public is invited to come in and see the renovation. Johns said an open house will happen soon; please watch future issues of the Delta County Independent for details on the celebration.

The reopening coincides with National Library Week. The Delta County Public Library District is celebrating by allowing all patrons fine free check-ins for the entire week, at all branches. So if you've been holding onto that book or DVD just a little too long, bring the materials back April 10-15 and have your fines wiped clean.

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