For the past three years, Durham County residents have been eager to catch a glimpse inside the remodeled downtown library’s sleek, ultramodern interior. On Wednesday night, the Durham Library Foundation’s virtual fall kick-off will feature a preview of the space, as well as some of the high-tech interior upgrades to it. 

During COVID-19, virtual has become the new normal, underscoring the need for community spaces with reliable Internet access. This makes the Durham County Library’s main branch revamping particularly well-timed. Improvements to the new space include a new technology center housing utilities such as 3D printers, a MakerLab, more public computers, and access to business training.The library is also expanding the North Carolina Collection and making it more readily accessible to the public.

Vines Architecture of Raleigh, the team chosen to tackle this project, enhanced the interior design with more open spaces, better lighting, and rooms for people in the community to work and collaborate. Vines Architecture chose to renovate, as opposed to fully rebuild, because they found the foundation of the 37 year-old library to have good bones.

On top of it all, architects designed the whole transformation to be energy efficient, with a new outdoor area. Like your books with a view? There will also be two rooftop terraces for events. 

The reconstruction has been progressing ever since the library shut its doors in January of 2017. The building was scheduled to reopen this past April, but was pushed back due to COVID-19. 

While the library has been shut down, staff has been creative, adapting to meet the communities’ needs. They’ve instituted library take-out, online access to books, magazines, and audiobooks, and even printed 3D face shields for EMS workers

If you’re curious about the new look of the library, you can get a sneak peak Wednesday, September 16, at 7 p.m. during The Durham Library Foundation’s virtual fall kick-off. The Library Director Tammy Baggett and Durham Library Foundation President Ann Craver will go over the improvements of the new building and people who join the webinar will have an opportunity to ask any questions. 

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