Published May 23. 2023 11:33AM
by Dana Grubb Special to the Bethlehem Press
At an April 29 open house, the Bethlehem Area Public Library unveiled its newly renovated first floor to the general public. At a cost of $450,000, which was raised through gifts, bequests, donations and fundraisers, the reference desk is now centrally located and new lower book shelves give a more open and better lit feel to the first floor.
“I’m thrilled,” says executive director Josh Berk, “and it’s a complete transformation in a short period of time.”
Berk says a new computer lab is also coming.
The new configuration, with the reference desk centralized and shelves radiating outward from it, reminds one of a wheel with spokes.
Berk says the size of the Library’s collection has not been reduced. “We also worked really hard to increase the size of display shelving to try to merchandise the collection better,” adds Berk.
In conjunction with the open house, a flea market was held in the Cohen Room, offering a variety of items to Library visitors.
More photos on A2.
PRESS PHOTOS BY DANA GRUBB A celebratory balloon arch welcomes open house visitors to the renovated first floor.
“I've been waiting for the opening,” says Bethlehem resident Chris Donham, who was seeking info from reference librarian Kristen Leipert.
Two ‘huddle rooms' have been added, one on either side of the reference desk. They are designed for small meetings, interviews and Zoom sessions.
New lower shelving gives an open and brighter feel to the floor plan.
The library also hosted a flea market during the open house.