Main library to close Saturday

New, much larger downtown branch to open July 17

By Howard Buck, Columbian staff writer

Published:

 

Call it the final checkout.

After nearly a half-century, the Vancouver Community Library at 1007 E. Mill Plain Blvd. will permanently shut down most operations at 6 p.m. Saturday, the close of normal business hours.

The closure will allow Fort Vancouver Regional Library District staff and professional movers to ship the library’s collection and employee work stations to the new, downtown library branch at 901 C St.

That flagship facility will open to the public after a grand opening celebration on July 17.

“The six-week closure is a minimum amount of time to move a library of this size,” said Karin Ford, librarian of the 48-year-old facility.

Besides moving an estimated three miles’ worth of materials, employees will need weeks of training to serve customers in the four-floor operations area with twice the square footage and sophisticated equipment and systems, Ford said.

Limited service

Some services will continue at the old Mill Plain location during the interim.

Book-return bins in both the west and north parking lots will remain open.

Limited holds pickups also will be available, even after the library discontinues all other normal services. Books that become available and were slated for pickup at the Mill Plain branch may be checked out by patrons in the upstairs lobby of the old branch.

This service will run from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday from Monday through July 13.

Patrons placing new holds on books from now through early July may instead wish to use a different branch as their pickup point. They may change the pickup location on pending hold requests.

Library staff will continue to answer telephone inquiries at the old main library, at 360-695-1566, during normal hours of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

Book donations for the Friends of Vancouver Community Library will not be accepted at the branch after Saturday.

Nearby options

During the transition period, FVRL encourages patrons to visit other local branches.

They include:

• Vancouver Mall Community Library, inside the Westfield Vancouver Mall, 8700 N.E. Vancouver Mall Drive, Suite 285, near JC Penney. Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. 360-892-8256.

• Cascade Park Community Library, next to Firstenburg Community Center, 600 N.E. 136th Ave. Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. 360-256-7782.

• Three Creeks Community Library, 800-C NE Tenney Road, near the Salmon Creek Fred Meyer store. Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday-Saturday. 360-571-9696.

July celebration

The Mill Plain building will continue to house FVRL’s consolidated operations, book processing, administration and Clark County bookmobile once the library space is vacated.

The new branch at the corner of C Street and East Evergreen Boulevard will open to the public following an outdoor ceremony that begins at 1 p.m. July 17. To accommodate staging and the expected crowd, C Street will be closed to vehicle traffic between East Evergreen Boulevard and East Eighth Street from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. that day.

The facility cost about $38 million — $33 million from a bond measure that voters approved in 2006 and a $5 million anonymous gift.

More information about the project is available at http://www.fvrl.org.

A comparison of the new and old libraries is at http://www.fvrl.org/aboutus/files/MainLibrary_OldNewComparison.pdf.