North Austin Civic Association
February 23, 2008
Little Walnut Creek Branch Library
Reopens after Year-Long Renovation
Moments after the doors opened, the library
~by Keith Huntsman
On March 5, 2007, the Little Walnut Creek Branch of the Austin
Public Library closed its doors for a much-needed facelift. The project
included the renovation of the ventilation, air conditioning and heating
system, extensive painting and carpeting, and other interior improvements.
Outside, there was an expansion of the parking lot to 63 spaces, and refreshed
landscaping including shaded benches.
|The scene at 10:01 Saturday||At 10 AM on Saturday the 23rd, the doors opened to an eager line of customers. A couple of youngsters even showing up a day ahead of time, vying to be first in line. The staff, still working hard on Friday to get the stacks ready for opening day, sent them home - to see them there again when the doors finally slid open.|
|The staff was ready. After months of being loaned off to other branches while construction was under way, and more months of refilling the expansive stacks of bookshelves, they were all smiles as their patrons, young and old, streamed in for their first look at the new facilities.||
Managing Librarian Michael Abramov, left
"The best air conditioning in town!"
- Facilities Planning Manager John Gillum
|From the outset, APL's Facilities Planning Manager John Gillum made it his mission that the old library's biggest problem was fully addressed. At the south side of the building sits the huge air conditioning plant that maintains the library at an even temperature, preserving the thousands of books, periodicals and recordings and providing the patrons with a perfectly maintained comfort level.|
|High on the list of new features is the completely remodeled children's area tucked away behind the bookcases near the entrance, where sons and daughters can entertain themselves while parents browse. Children's Supervisor Sally Miculek keeps a sharp eye and sunny attitude focused on the kids as they busy themselves with books and crafts, and a menagerie of stuffed animals from sock monkeys to a huge teddy bear and an even larger gorilla. Ramona the guinea pig is also back, settled into her cage near the front desk.||
Sally Miculek, top left, is the shepherd of the colorful children's area
The children's area includes kid-sized seating, arts and crafts, and stuffed critters of all sizes.
|In no time at all the children's area looked lived in, with animals scattered around in chairs, shelves, corners and young arms. Shortly after this I spotted a triceratops that had roamed into the conference room deep in the back of the library, carried there to share the Open House goodies provided by the staff.|
|For the more electronic-oriented crowd, the computer stations provide access to the internet as well as to the library facilities and catalogs. There is one central station near the checkout desk, another near the entrance, and a third at the end of the building nearest Rundberg, which also features a lounge area for relaxed reading. Copiers and printers are also available.||
One of three areas for computer buffs
The well-lighted center aisle includes work tables
|Down the center of the main room, and scattered through the library, are workspace tables of various sizes and shapes, with comfortable chairs and plenty of elbow room for those who want to work on projects, homework or research of any kind. There is also a conference room in the rear of the building that may be reserved for group descussions, book clubs and other small meetings.|
|A true community branch, Little Walnut Creek is one of
APL's three New Immigrants Centers. The library includes extensive collections
of books and DVDs in Spanish and Vietnamese, as well as the latest and most
popular materials for English-speakers. The highly trained staff at the front
desk is always willing to help locate any title, either at this branch or
anywhere in the Austin Public Library system.
The Computer Learning Center is another big plus, along with scheduled ACC classes in English as a Second Language. There are also art displays, and multimedia guides on popular topics.
The main desk overlooks the entrance
"Just like Christmas morning!"
|One of these patrons deep in the stacks - I don't know which one - provided me with that heart-felt opening line. After almost a year of patient waiting, the NACA neighborhood is thrilled that our library branch on Rundberg just west of Lamar is back at last and open for business.|
835 W. Rundberg Ln., 78758
Phone: (512) 836-8975
Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday CLOSED (October 2008 city budget cuts)
Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday 2 p.m.-6 p.m.
Bus Routes: 1L, 1M, 101, 142, 325
> City of Austin Public Library System
> Little Walnut Creek Branch Library
> Little Walnut Creek Library Services
> Austin Public Library's Announcement of the Grand Reopening