Over the course of a month, the building will grow from 7,000 to 12,000 square feet.
By TRACY SMALL
Published April 30, 2004
LUTZ - Patrons of the Lutz Branch Library will experience pangs of literary loss - temporarily - when the library closes its doors for a month starting this weekend.
A bigger and better library will open on June 1. Renovations costing $1.1-million will expand the library from 7,000 to 12,000 square feet.
"We are going to be unboxing and shelving about 40,000 books while we're closed," said Janet Spearel, the branch supervisor. "It would have been too difficult to maintain the mini library while getting set up in the expanded site."
Library users had fought to keep the Lutz branch open throughout the expansion.
Instead, the county is encouraging them to visit the Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library, 2902 W Bearss Ave., which will keep their hold items. One part-time Lutz library employee is also on loan to Keel.
The new library will feature new furniture, more computers, a section for movies, DVDs, and books on tape, and a computer lab for teaching purposes. Homeschool families will notice an expanded children's collection.
Once renovations are complete, the existing library will become the meeting room for all children's programs and other events.
That's worth the wait, said Kimberly Seibert, who has four children ages 7 through 16. "They're excited about having a new library, the end result will outweigh the closing," Seibert said. "We'll just have to live with it in anticipation."
Other customers have been slightly less sympathetic. "I think the closing is for the birds," said Jane Hammerback, 77. "But I'm looking forward to the reopening."
The library is extending borrowing times so that items due between April 7 and May 1 will now be due on July 7.
To add more finishing touches, Friends of the Lutz Library will sell used and donated books.
"We're thrilled, it's going to be great," Spearel said. "Everybody's going to get something out of the new building."
-For more information call Janet Spearel at (813) 264-3827.