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Macomb's Library Expansion Opens

TSPR's Emily Boyer
The two sections of the Macomb Public Library span more than a century. The original portion (right) was built in 1904 and the addition (left) went up in 2014.

The Macomb Public Library is now double its original size thanks to a two story, 10,000 square foot addition. A large children's library takes up most of the first floor of the addition.

Credit TSPR's Emily Boyer
This elephant is part of the animal theme marking on book shelves throughout the children's library. They're designed to help staff direct children to age appropriate material.

Library Director Dennis Danowski said the space is designed to encourage kids to help themselves.

“The children’s library has browsing shelves like Barnes and Noble where you can see the covers and they can flip through them and see where things are,” Danowski said.

Upstairs there is computer area along with shelves of books targeted to teens and adults and a seating area. The renovations mean that the library will no longer operate any services out of the annex building.

The energy efficient building has self-regulating air flow control that adjusts to crowd size along with sensory lights that dim when rooms are empty and can be scheduled to turn on in the morning and off at the end of the day.

Credit TSPR's Emily Boyer
The area features a story nook, table for games and puzzles and a small set of bleachers to accommodate classes or other groups.

It also features large rooms, new furniture and comfortable seating while maintaining the same architectural feel as the original 1904 Carnegie building it’s connected to.

Finishing touches to the project are still being added including a brick patio and brick wall to honor some of the local financial backers. The community raised nearly $800,000 for the renovations.

Danowski said the state contributed about $2.4-million although the final payment has been delayed by stalled state budget talks in Springfield.