Friday, July 14, 2017

The Wait Is Over! Aspen Hill Library Reopens July 15, 2017

Reopening sign at Aspen Hill Library
The wait is over. Aspen Hill Library reopens Saturday, July 15. We are indeed excited that we are able to bring this wonderful news to all within the Aspen Hill community, particularly around this time of the year when the library is looked upon as the “go to” place for all who live and work in the area. Here is the official announcement of the reopening as given by the Public Information Office of the Montgomery County Government in a press release dated June 30, 2017.

County Executive Ike Leggett invites residents to a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, July 15, beginning at 10 AM to celebrate the grand reopening of the newly refreshed Montgomery County Public Libraries’ Aspen Hill branch, located at 4407 Aspen Hill Rd in Rockville.

The refresh for the library includes new carpeting throughout the library, redesigned public restrooms to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, a new circulation and information desk, redesigned children’s area with additional seating, a new teen area with cafĂ© seating, five collaboration rooms, new furniture and shelving, interior and exterior painting, a new accessible book drop, a new information computer monitor, and light fixtures with high efficiency LED fixtures.

The Aspen Hill Chapter of the Friends of the Library will serve refreshments immediately following the ceremony. Musical entertainment will be provided by a youth finalist from "MoCo’s Got Talent.”

Bookshelves,tables, and chairs at Aspen Hill Library

The Aspen Hill staff who have been placed at the impacted libraries during the refresh phase have all returned to the library and have been diligently preparing the library for this momentous re-opening. All our previous blog pieces have given a preview of what has taken place along this refresh journey, and we are excited that you the public will now have the opportunity to not only view it on our opening day, but to enjoy it as part of the Aspen Hill community.

Refurbished parking lot and exterior of Aspen Hill Library

Welcome back to the Aspen Hill Library on Saturday, July 15, 2017, Where the County Reads, Where the County Meets, Where the County Learns!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Aspen Hill Library...Getting It Ready!!

Interior photo of Aspen Hill library featuring a full shelf of fiction books and comfy chairs
Just when we brought staff back into the building to prepare the collection and the branch for re-opening, the Montgomery County Department of General Services embarked on a lighting project throughout the building.  This was indeed a welcomed undertaking since it provided an improved degree of lighting to all our library users, in a space which had also been enhanced and improved upon.

We are happy to report that the lighting project was completed in a shorter time-frame than originally projected. This has allowed us to request the staff return to the branch this week to complete the job of preparing for reopening.
Interior photo of Aspen Hill library showing a low bookshelf, tables, and chairs

We are utilizing every minute of the time available to work on the miscellaneous tasks required to reopen the branch. The painters are presently painting sections of the fascia band around the roof, computers and copiers/printers are being installed for public use, the self-check units have been relocated to their new locations in the branch, remaining new furniture items are arriving, and our telephone lines and the equipment on the Information and Circulation Service Desks are being checked for functionality. We are working feverishly on “getting the library ready.”

Worker painting the fascia band just under the roof of Aspen Hill library
Landscaping to enhance the areas affected by the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) work on the sidewalks, access ramp and parking lot spaces  is still in the works, with suggestions and recommendations still to be finalized and executed.

We are looking forward to welcoming the public for a midsummer opening. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Aspen Hill Library … And the Staff Returns!

Almost all the activity which is related to the construction/refresh at the Aspen Hill Library has ended, except for a few miscellaneous items. And now, with that phase completed, all of the Aspen Hill staff who have been functioning at the impacted libraries in the area, will be returning to their work location, Aspen Hill.

To that end, all of the Aspen Hill staff, functioning at the impacted branches, have been informed of a date of their return to the Aspen Hill Library. This is exciting news to many since the return of staff sets into motion the much anticipated question regarding the opening date for the library, which our Director will announce soon. To you our valued customers, I ask for your patience since there is a lot still to be done before we get to opening day.

Although the library has been closed for the refresh, the addition of new materials to the library’s collection has been ongoing, so that a varied assortment of new materials will be awaiting your return. All these will have to shelved before the doors are opened to welcome back our customers.  Additionally, the materials which have been boxed and stored so that construction and reconfiguration of areas within the library can occur will also have to be shelved. The task of making the library functional again can only occur with the presence of staff in the building, which makes the return of staff a necessary factor.

And what will staff be doing during the preparation stage? Apart from the re-shelving of material, staff will also be trained on new technologies, which will be introduced when the branch reopens from the refresh project. Digital signage monitors will be located in two areas within the branch. These monitors will display information about Montgomery County Public Libraries' programs, services, and materials, as well as Aspen Hill related information. We will have equipment so that you will be able to pay your fines and bills with a credit card.  Laptops will be available for you to use in the building, should you wish to take advantage of that option instead of using the public Internet PCs. Training to provide support to these services by library staff is indeed integral to our functioning and will be provided during the period of preparation for the reopening.

As always, the work continues and, with staff returning, we are indeed getting closer to opening day.

More to come! Please keep checking this blog!

Ken Lewis
Aspen Hill

Friday, April 7, 2017

Aspen Hill … and the Covers Are Coming Off!

Sidewalk outside Aspen Hill LibraryA considerable portion of the front of the library, which abuts the general parking lot, has been repaved in concrete.  This area will also be fully landscaped with shrubbery and trees. This has added immensely to enhancing the library grounds in that area.

On the inside of the building, construction activity relating to the refresh project is almost at its end. While the contractors still have a few minor construction related items to complete, we are now at the point where we are beginning to take off the plastic covers which covered the collection during construction. I am delighted to report that our attention has now been turned towards preparing our entire collection, and the remainder of the library, for re-opening.

New tables, chairs, and carpeting
New replacement shelving and furniture have arrived for some sections of the library. A peek into the children’s area reveals new tables and chairs, which await our residents' return to the refreshed surroundings. Add new titles of books, updated Young Voyager and Little Explorer Go! Kits, and library programming to the mix, and the Aspen Hill Library will definitely be the place to be when it reopens.

New chairs and carpetingThe teens coming into the library will also be delighted to see an area which has been configured for them. In their space one finds a set-up which allows for relaxed use and enjoyment on an-ongoing basis.

New collaboration room doorsThe individual study/collaboration rooms which were mentioned in our post dated 2/17/17, are now completed. These will provide our customers with an enclosed space in which to work with another individual or to do work on their own. These will be available to our customers via online booking. Information pertaining to these can be found on the MCPL website on the webpage about Meeting Rooms and Collaboration Rooms.

There remains a lot still to be done. The furniture for different sections of the library is still being delivered. The information and circulation service desks have yet to arrive, but their spaces are completed and all is ready for their installation.   And yes, we are still waiting for a date when the staff can return to the building to prepare for the re-opening. We are getting there! The covers are off!

Keep following our blog, ... more to come!

Ken Lewis
Aspen Hill Library

Friday, March 10, 2017

Aspen Hill Library, ... What's Going On!

Anyone who enters the Aspen Hill library’s parking lot at this time will notice that the entire front portion of the pavement and the parking lot, which runs parallel to the library in a north–south direction, is totally under construction and that these areas are being reconfigured. Now that the library is closed for the refresh, work is underway to make the Library compliant with all ADA specifications as they pertain to the library.

newly laid concrete path through dirtA closer look at the work being done near the front entrance to the library will also reveal a pathway which leads from the entrance walkway to the “front” side of the building. As part of the refresh to the building, a book drop has been added to the right of the main entrance as one approaches that location. The pathway allows for customers to return library materials when the library is closed.

interior of a public restroomConstruction and refresh activities within the library continue as the various crews work towards the completion of tasks. The carpeting throughout the library is completed. Remember the pictures from the last blog that showed a completely gutted area of the public access bathrooms on the lower level? The public access bathrooms have been redesigned and add to the “refreshed” look that the entire physical space inside of the building is beginning to reflect.

Also being worked on are the data and power outlet drops, which are being relocated. I see the data and power drops as our other important additions, since they are a vital part of our links to the information access process. Add comfortable seating around these important utilities, and our library will induce you to spend even longer hours enjoying the environment.

Keep following our blog, … more to come!

Ken, Branch Manager,
Aspen Hill Library.