This is my third blog post about the future library location in Hebron. My original post talked about the Lents Branch Relocation Project, giving you a ten year history of the project. On September 8, 2016, I was excited to write about the architects that had been chosen, Brandstetter Carroll, Inc. in partnership with HBM Architects. I have had several members of the community ask, “When will you start on the new library?” While it does not look like much is happening, we have been very busy working on the Hebron Branch.
One of the first, and most fundamental, questions in any library construction project is what size the library should be to serve its community best. The Kentucky Public Library Standards recommends square footage by Population. Boone County Planning Commission has over 9,000 single and multi-family homes approved for future construction. The estimated population growth can be seen in the grid below. In fact, by 2035, Boone County is expected to surpass Kenton County’s population and become the third largest county in Kentucky.
|Year||Total Population Estimate|
Based on the above estimates, Kentucky Public Library Standards identify that we should anticipate an enhanced level of Library support to our community with a total of 26,000 square feet. Here is your first look at the new building in the architect’s rendering below.
With the square footage defined, the second question in any library construction project is how that space should be allocated. Twenty-first century libraries are designed to not be boxes or warehouses that store books and computers, but rather a site that embodies pride in the education and culture of our great community. Some features we anticipate in our future Hebron Branch are:
- Library as community center: The Hebron Branch has been designed as a gathering space for Boone County. The building will have a large meeting room with a stage that seats approximately 400 people. This meeting room can be divided into 3 rooms for smaller programs and meetings. The Branch will also have an activity room in the youth area, a conference room, and 5 study rooms scattered throughout the building. The youth area has been designed with early childhood interactive areas to encourage literacy and a teen space to encourage collaboration. The design of the building allows small group meetings, large programs, quiet research, and active children and teen areas.
- Library that breathes and grows: The Hebron Branch has been designed to be flexible and adaptive so that it meets not only our needs today, but Boone County’s needs in the future. Most of this building will have raised access flooring. This allows us to easily add wiring, electricity, data, and any other new technology not thought of yet to the building as needed. The raised floor and open design will also allow us to move the Library around as needs change. We do not know what is coming next. Libraries need spaces that can be adjusted every three to five years.
- Library is light-filled: A curtain wall will allow visibility from outside and within. This wall will feature energy-saving glass. Additional clerestory windows will draw natural light deeper into the building reducing the need for artificial light sources
- Library is connected to the environment: In addition to the windows allowing a view of natural landscape, the library will have a patio that will encourage people to sit outdoors and enjoy the view of trees preserved from the original site. An amphitheater that can be used for outdoor library programs as well as booked by the community like a meeting room will encourage use of the outdoor space. A Story Walk will be installed to encourage families to get out and walk while enjoying wonderful children’s books and early literacy activities.
- Library contains new spaces: The Hebron Branch will have four new types of spaces for the community to use: a Retired Adult Area, a Makerspace, a drive-up window, and lockers to pick up holds 24/7. The Makerspace has been designed as a hub for a variety of creative collaborations targeting people of all ages. The equipment available in the Makerspace will rotate, becoming an incubator for new ideas fulfilling our mission statement of “Discover, Explore, Experience a lifetime of learning at Boone County Public Library.” The Retired Adult area will house and display the large type collection. The over-55 population in Boone County will double in size by 2030. This space will be universally accessible, user-friendly, flexible to accommodate a variety of activities, and adaptable to facilitate future needs. One of the most requested features for the Hebron Branch is a drive-up window. Customers will be able to stay in their vehicles to pick up holds.
- Library is energy efficient and minimizes long term operational costs: This location will also use geothermal heating and cooling to maintain indoor temperatures. The building envelope has been designed to reduce thermal conductivity. The open space within and the windows allow natural light into the building reducing energy costs. In addition the building will use occupancy sensors and daylight harvesting technology to adjust indoor and outdoor lights as needed based on available sunlight.
Once the building receives approval from the Boone County Planning Commission it will go out to bid. After we break ground, the building should take about a year to complete. As construction progresses we will post videos, pictures and information to our website and social media sites.
–Carrie Herrmann, Library Director
Carrie Herrmann has 30 years of experience in libraries, most of those in Northern Kentucky. She graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Masters in Library and Information Science. Carrie Herrmann has worked for Boone County Public Library for seventeen years, the last two as the Library Director.
She has served on the Executive Board for the SWON Libraries consortium, served as the editor for the Kentucky Public Library Association’s (KPLA) newsletter, IN-FO-CUS, and on the Continuing Education Committee for the national Public Library Association. Currently, Carrie is focused on a building project for Boone County Public Library.
In answer to a comment on the blog, here is a drawing that shows the pitch of the roof for the new building.