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Bloomfield Public Library undergoing extensive renovation

New flooring, booths, countertops and private study rooms part of changes

FARMINGTON — Workers are nearing completion of a renovation project at the Bloomfield Public Library that includes the installation of new flooring and countertops, the construction of private study rooms and the addition of restaurant-style booths.

Library director Corey Bard said the renovation, which began over the holidays and is expected to wrap up soon, had been planned since he joined the staff in October 2020, but it took until now to bring it to fruition. The project cost between $25,000 and $30,000 with the money coming from the city’s capital improvements fund.

“It was a big undertaking, but it was worth it,” Bard said, noting that the library has remained open throughout the construction work and has continued to serve its patrons. “It’s going to give this place a facelift.”

The most noticeable difference to those who frequent the library likely will be the installation of the wooden flooring to replace the weathered green carpet that had been in place since the early 1990s. The flooring is much brighter and gives the library an airy feel.

But its installation was also the most labor-intensive task that workers faced. Every shelf in the library had to be emptied and moved while the flooring was replaced, then put back in its former location before the shelves could be restocked. Libraries were still replacing those books on Jan. 12, organizing them according to their Dewey Decimal Classification.

“We reshelved every single book,” Bard said.

The flooring project was complete on that day, but workers from Farmington-based Quality Constructors Inc. still scurried about, finishing concrete in the new building’s refurbished entry, putting the finishing touches on two new private study rooms and preparing to install the booths and countertops.

Bard said the booths will be located along the north wall of the library where computers used to be stationed. They will serve as comfortable places where library patrons and relax, read and study, he said.

The marble countertops will be located at the east end of the library in front of large picture windows, with new stools having been purchased for patrons to sit on. The countertops will feature outlets that patrons can plug their laptop computers into.

The two study rooms are located next to the countertops. Bard said the library is partnering with an adult literacy program, and the rooms will be used for tutoring sessions. Library patrons also may reserve the rooms for private tutoring sessions.

The renovation is just the latest change at the library that has been ushered in under Bard’s direction. Since he took over more than two years ago, the library has greatly enhanced its public programming, offering a variety of art exhibitions, concerts, lectures, storytelling events and other presentations.

“You’re trying to present continuing education, culture, art, music and authors — lifelong learning,” Bard said of his approach to programming.

The series continues at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16 when Sam Hunter, the president and CEO of Black Mountain Complex Inc., a Bloomfield-based nonprofit research corporation, will discuss his 30 years of research into southwestern petroglyphs in a presentation entitled “Indian Rock Writings.”

The library is located at 333 S. 1st St. as part of the Bloomfield Multicultural Center. Call 505-632-8315.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or Support local journalism with a digital subscription: