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Creating Edgewater’s New Library

By Nancy Hahn

What does it take to open the new 10,000-square-foot Edgewater Library? Choices, planning, packing and unpacking.

Planning the layout began as quickly as possible. Large copies of the floor plan with walls, restrooms, windows and shelves (including custom-made curvy shelves) were created. Decisions were made on the location of the teen, adult and children’s areas. Planning each detail on paper creates smoother operation.

Meetings were held with members of the Edgewater community to discuss what was important to them in the new library. Their answer was a resounding, “We want Amy.”  Amy Beebe was the librarian in the original, very tiny, very busy Edgewater Library. She will be the Teen Librarian in the new Edgewater Library. Other staff includes Nick Taylor, manager of Edgewater, as well as Wheat Ridge libraries. The Patron Experience Director is Allison McCombe.

Edgewater will be a Family Place library, which creates family activities to ensure that all children begin school ready to learn.

The Library Service Center in Wheat Ridge began building the collection for the new Edgewater Library months ago. All Jeffco libraries have a foundation set of books that are books no library can do without. This Opening Day Collection includes popular authors, classics, children’s books, cook books, novels and reference books. Because there is a large Spanish-speaking population in the area, Spanish-language books are part of the collection.

As Edgewater’s books arrived at the Library Service Center, they were shelved in the same way they would be shelved in the new library. Imagine the huge number and variety of books it takes to fill a library. Now double that.

The new books are boxed by category and then labeled so the box could be taken to the correct shelf. When it is opened the books can be placed right on their shelf. Picture books fill one box. Spanish picture books fill another. Teen graphic novels, adult fiction, adult nonfiction, board books, biographies, cookbooks, and any other category you can imagine are loaded in their own box and labeled. DVDs, CDs, Blue Rays, and other electronic media are gathered, alphabetized, and boxed, also.

With the opening weeks away, large shipping shelves appear at the Library Service Center. These huge plywood bookshelves on wheels are filled with books in the order they will be shelved. A plywood front is attached, and they are rolled onto a truck headed to Edgewood.

Parts of the new Civic Center at 1800 Harlan St. are still under construction, so the main entrance and the freight elevator can’t be used for bringing in furniture, endless boxes of books, or huge rolling bookshelves. Everything is brought in through what will be an emergency exit.

Difficulties aside, all will be ready at the library’s grand opening, possibly as soon as Nov. 18.