Newton Falls Public Library Renovation Project and COVID-19 Information
Library Renovation and COVID-19 Update: April 15, 2020
As of March 26, 2020, the Newton Falls Public Library will be closed until further notice in compliance with the stay-at-home order issued by the Ohio Department of Health. We are asking all patrons to please hold onto all of your materials until further notice. Your materials are NOT DUE until the CLEVNET libraries reopen. Please also note that our courier service is unavailable and we are unable to transfer items to member libraries. Once the CLEVNET member libraries reopen and it is safe for our staff to handle your materials, we will reinstall the outside book and media drops. We will waive any fines accumulated between March 16th and our reopening date.
Are there library resources I can use while the Library is closed?
Yes. The Library provides a wide variety of options, including ebooks through OverDrive and Libby, and research databases for homework help and information.
What if my items are due? Will I accrue late fines?
Due dates for all materials have been extended. No late fees will accrue on materials that were originally due during the closure period. If you need assistance with any issues regarding fines/renewals during our closure please email email@example.com. This email account will be monitored Monday – Friday throughout the entire length of our closure. We will work to ensure issues are dealt with so that you do not incur a block on your card.
Can I drop my materials off in the book drop?
No, the book and media drops have been removed. Please hold on to your materials; they won't be due until the Library reopens. Once the CLEVNET member libraries reopen and it is safe for our staff to handle your materials, we will reinstall the outside book and media drops.
How do I get in touch with the librarians?
While we can’t answer our usual phone right now, our librarians are working from home and are available to take your call 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Monday – Friday. For general information, call: 330-406-9792. For tech help, call: 330-353-9495. For specific library card issues, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also email our librarians any time. Our Adult Services and Reference Librarians can be reached at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Youth Services Librarian is available at email@example.com, and our Tech Instructor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are there still programs?
For the safety of the public, we aren’t holding any in-person programs right now, but there’s a lot happening online. Miss Chrissy is posting Story Times, crafts, science experiments and more for kids and their families on the library’s YouTube and Facebook pages. If you miss book discussion, you can join the Newton Falls Public Library Book Talk group on Facebook. The Writers’ Group is still meeting at their scheduled times over Google Hangouts and socializing in between meetings on the Newton Falls Writers' Club Facebook group.
If you’re interested in online programs but you’re having trouble getting the technology to work for you, don’t worry! Call our tech instructor at 330-353-9495 or email him at email@example.com and he can help walk you through it. The tech education program was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the State Library of Ohio.
PLEASE PARDON OUR DUST
The Newton Falls Public Library Renovation Project began on Tuesday, February 18, 2020! Construction will be spanned over 150 to 180 days and in 3 different phases. Phase 1 began on February 18, 2020, on the second floor of the Library. The second floor is now officially closed, and all materials have been moved to a special offsite storage facility. The second floor will remain closed for the entire length of the construction. Staff and patrons will not be permitted on the second floor during construction. Some of the first floor collection (audiobooks and compact discs) and furniture were moved into storage. DVDS and magazines were relocated within the building.
Phase 2 of the Newton Falls Public Library Renovation Project began on Monday, March 16, 2020! The Library has been CLOSED since Monday, March 16, 2020, first in order to pack, move and store the Library’s physical circulating collection, furniture and equipment and then in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
When we reopen, access to the building will be very limited until this phase of the renovation is complete. There may be additional dates the Library will need to close for demolition and/or safety reasons and those dates will be announced as soon as possible.
Follow along with our progress on Facebook! You can find pictures of the renovation in this album.
During the reopening:
- There will be a single temporary circulation/reference desk with limited or no seating. More information will be provided once we reopen.
- Library materials, computers and the public copier will be inaccessible as they will be removed from the facility in order to preserve their integrity.
- Public bathrooms will be inaccessible.
- Public seating and reading areas will be inaccessible.
- Public copying and printing services will be inaccessible.
- Tax forms and booklets can be picked up once we reopen. We are working on a temporary printing solution for tax forms that we currently do not have in stock. More information will be available once we reopen. Library computers will be unavailable.
- It will be DISRUPTIVE and LOUD during this time period.
- There will be limited parking spots in the main parking lot.
- Library staff will assist you with placing holds on digital collections and CLEVNET collections throughout the entire project via telephone, email or in-person.
- Yes, we will continue to offer limited programming for children, adults and teens at OFFSITE locations. No programs will be held onsite during construction. Please call the Library or check the online calendar for more information. We are looking to expand our outreach programming while the majority of the facility is unavailable.
The third phase of the project will be construction of the outdoor patio area in Spring. We currently do not have an estimated time frame for this phase.
Will it be noisy and dusty?
While our aim is to keep noise and dust at a minimum, we will be under construction which will ultimately cause disruptions during our operating hours.
Will the parking lot be affected?
The parking lot and drive-through book drops will be open throughout most of the project. However, several spaces will be taken up by construction-related vehicles, storage and equipment.
Will I be able to check out books?
Patrons will be limited to the CLEVNET digital and print collections until the completion of the project. If you can’t find what you are looking for or do not know how to request items through the online library catalogs, please ask one of our staff members. We are here to help you throughout this process.
As always, you will have access to our online collection of books, magazines, music and videos. These resources are available 24/7—with no dust and noise!
Will the computers/technology be available?
Computers, copiers, and printers will not be available during certain times during phase 2 and phase 3 of the renovation project. This is to protect the integrity of our materials and equipment during the construction phase.
Will there be programming?
Yes, we will continue to offer limited programming for children, adults and teens at offsite locations. Some programs will be on hiatus during construction. Please call the Library or check the online calendar for more information.
Can I reserve a meeting room during the renovation?
Unfortunately, the second-floor meeting rooms are not available during the entire length of the construction project.
Can I visit the Local History Room during the renovation process?
Unfortunately, the Local History Room is closed during the entire length of the construction project in order to expand the area.
Will the Library lose space for books, magazines, audiobooks, DVDS, and music CDs?
When the Library was built in 1984, it was important to dedicate most of the space to holding print materials. The Library did not enjoy the same resource-sharing agreements as we do today, and digital resources had not been invented yet. The Library will have a reduced number of book and media shelves after the renovation. Our goal is to have more copies of the items that Newton Falls cardholders want, and fewer copies of items that get little or no usage. In addition, our collaboration with CLEVNET, a consortium of 45 library systems across 12 different counties with 12 million items and approximately 1 million customers in Northeast Ohio, allows you access to the vast collections of every participating library.
What does the renovation cost?
The $915,000.00 estimated renovation project budget includes renovating most areas of the Library and comprises design and construction costs, new flooring, wall coverings, furniture, museum cases, shelving, and additional power sources.
Who is responsible for the construction?
The Library has hired IAP Government Services Group as our third-party administrator for the construction management process. K2M Design is the architectural firm we hired to create a modern, dynamic space to inspire reading, learning, resource sharing, accessing technology, and connecting the community.
Will we be assessed higher taxes to pay for the renovation?
No, the Library assessment on your property tax bill will not increase because the Library does not have a capital fund nor a bond issue to fund this project. The Library has an operating property tax levy for general operating expenses.
How will the renovation project be funded?
The renovation will be funded by donations receipted into the capital fund over the past twenty-five years, income received from the Alma M. and Peter G. Murri Trust since 2014, and funds saved over the past eight years by postponing non-essential capital improvements.
The Library has decided to focus our efforts and funds into reutilizing the current square footage by making the space more usable and efficient for both the community and staff instead of increasing its footprint with an addition.
As our legal service area population continues to decrease, so do the funds we receive from the Public Library Fund (State of Ohio) and from our general operating levy (Local). Combined State and Local Funding for the Newton Falls Public Library in 2018 was less than the amount the Library received in in 1998. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 2018 are 54.05% higher than average prices throughout 1998. The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.18% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.
Adding additional square footage to the current Library would increase our general operating costs (staffing, heating, cooling, etc...) which would in turn cause the Library to immediately seek additional property tax funds since we do not have control over our state funding. Proposing to add new millage to our current operating levy is not option in 2020 yet the recommendation to add usable space is at an all-time high.
What is changing?
The Library will be utilizing current space more efficiently creating more public service and gathering spaces for the community. The renovation will include a redesigned lobby with a modernized circulation desk; new furniture, wall coverings, and flooring throughout the entire building; new shelving; installation of more electrical outlets; larger Children’s and Young Adult Departments (increasing the areas from 1,694 square feet to 2,520 square feet); additional (4) private study rooms on the first floor; a redesigned modern Children's Department with new space for technology, programming and study; expansion of the Young Adult Department with more contemporary communal space; a redesigned Adult Services Department with less shelving and more shared space accented with modern furniture to meet 21st century technology needs; increased area in the Local History Room (increasing the area from 975 square feet to 1,068 square feet) for more efficient filing and storage solutions along with adding updated furniture and museum cases; additional (up to 3) private study rooms on the second floor; and transitional furniture for the large meeting room.