Library asks all to check out new service

By Tom Vogt, Columbian science, military & history reporter

Published:

 

If you go

• What: “Re-Imagining the Mall Library,” a transition to a “library connection” format.

• When: 7 p.m. Wednesday.

• Where: Second floor, Westfield Vancouver mall, 8700 N.E. Vancouver Mall Drive.

• Information:Online.

Members of the public are invited to discuss the conversion of the Vancouver Mall Community Library into a facility that will reopen in the spring as The Mall Library Connection.

The mall transition is part of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District's new approach to naming and operating 15 sites in three counties.

Library officials will provide information and take input at a "Re-Imagining the Mall Library" public event, 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29 in a storefront meeting space on the second level of the mall, between Macy's and Champs Sports.

The remodeled facility is expected to open in March or April near its current location on the mall's second level, adjacent to J.C. Penney.

The Mall Library Connection represents a shift in the way the district is naming its sites according to their service levels.

• Vancouver Community Library (for example): Staffed all the time; full array of services; broad collection.

• The Mall Library Connection: Selected array of services; targeted collection. The mall site will be staffed all the time, said spokeswoman Sue Vanlaanen, but if the district opens other "library connection" facilities, those sites might have "most of the time" staffing.

No other connection sites are under discussion, but it could be a way to introduce service to an area, Vanlaanen said.

• Yacolt Library Express: Primarily self-service but may be staffed some of the time; limited services; limited collection. The Yacolt facility is scheduled to open in September, as is Green Mountain Library Express at Green Mountain School.

The lease increase for the Vancouver mall branch resulted from a major renovation and upgrade of the Westfield property.

"We're taking advantage of this new beginning to re-think library service at the mall," said Nancy Tessman, executive director. "With the help of community input, we're looking forward to tailoring our services, collection and programs to better fit the needs of mall library users."

The Mall Library Connection is modeled after a similar facility in the Puget Sound area, also in a Westfield mall property.

People attending the Wednesday meeting may want to park between Macy's and Nordstrom on the north side of the mall and enter the mall through the doors next to Gentle Dental. Signs will direct people to the meeting.

Following the session, SHKS Architects of Seattle will draft three proposals to be presented to focus groups in September.

Plans will be completed in October or November, and the mall library will close for remodeling on Dec. 24.

Those unable to attend the session can comment via email; 360-906-5106, or a comment form available at any regional library.