Improvement plans

Coming changes to Herzfeld Library include a permanent desk replacing the temporary service desk. The new desk will have a place where a patron can sit, another where a patron can stand and third section for wheel chair users. 

The Herzfeld Library in Benton is scheduled to be mostly closed Jan. 6 through 11 to allow for construction of new desks and other improvements. 

During this time, the Benton meeting room will be open to pick up holds. Patrons will be able to use the library's side entrance, according to Library Director Patty Hector. 

Both the Benton and Bryant branches will be closed the morning of Jan. 6 and open at noon. Staff will be taking part in training. The Bryant Library will have normal hours after Jan. 6. 

Benton will make deliveries two times each day that week to Bryant. 

Hector said it is a priority for the library to still make materials available while the work is being done. She wanted to be able to keep the whole library open, but the contractors said it would not be safe. 

"We really tried not to close," Hector said. 

The current circulation desk will be replaced and moved out to allow patrons to better see staff if they need assistance. The desk will have a standing height and sitting height section and a place that will provide wheelchair access. 

Hector said the circulation desk is important because it is often patrons first point of contact with staff. 

Beside the new desk will be a self checkout station and a self serve hold station. 

"We think this will be a better flow," Hector said. 

Pushed slightly back from where the circulation desk was will be a book drop. 

The service desk will be replaced with a permanent desk. The current desk is a temporary desk because the library was trying to determine if patrons liked it in its location. The new desk will have standing, sitting and wheelchair accessible sections like the circulation desk. The location of the desk, which previously was farther back in the library, provides better line of site with the front door, Hector said. 

The adult computer lab will be moved back into what Hector hopes will be a space that is a little quieter for those working. The lab will get new computer desks similar to those in the Bryant branch that provide more space and privacy for those using library computers than the current set up. 

Downstairs, the children's desk will be moved out so it can be seen from the stairs so patrons know where to find help if they need it. In its current location, Hector feels the desk is hidden. 

The work will be completed by Library Interiors of Texas out of Austin, Texas. They did the renovations to the Bryant branch. Hector said they work with local contractors to do some of the work. 

The money for these updates is coming from the 2019 budget. Hector said it is being done in 2020 because the library did not want to have this change and the library system changes occurring at the same time. 

More changes are planned for next year. Hector wants to get in new furniture for the library. 

Hector said the library is always looking for feedback on what the patrons want to improve the library. 

She feels it is important for patrons for the library to be kept up to date. 

"We want it be a welcoming fun place," Hector said. 

The changes will include lighter colors for a fresher look. 

The library is located at 1800 Smithers Dr. in Benton. 

Recommended for you