Saturday, January 27, 2007

Allen County Public Library Grand Opening

This afternoon I attended the ceremonies for the grand opening of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne. It's impressive, to say the least. I spoke very briefly with Curt Witcher, the director of the Genealogy Center, and of course he was quite excited. He said there were a few minor things that still needed to be completed but they were about 99% ready for the opening. Below are some pictures I took this afternoon.

Some lucky folks got a sneak peak at the library last Sunday. You can read about that in an
article in the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel; they also have some pictures.

Opening Ceremony The opening ceremony. A few people were on hand.
ScannersThese scanners allow you to create a digital image of the microfilm, two of them can also scan microfiche. The image can be edited on site. If you load the film wrong and the image is backwards you don't have to reload, the scanner can be set to reverse the image. It can also rotate the image and switch it from a positive to a negative or vice versa. Way cool. Even more cool, you can print the images or write the images to a CD or save them to your thumbdrive (or any USB drive). The email feature is not yet working. I could see using that if you only had a few images. I forgot to ask if they sell the CDs. At this time there is no cost for scanning or printing but, according to the staff member that was giving the demonstration, that may change in the future.

Patron AreaThis was taken shortly after the opening ceremony. It is the largest of the patron work areas. It is in the same room with all of the family history books, a small portion of which can be seen on the far wall. The chairs are very comfortable. Two copy machines are available in this room.

ShelvesThis is a huge space. It is where all of the City Directories and oversized books are located. The shelving units move with the push of a button. If someone is in the row the unit won't move. Of course everyone had to see if they worked properly. There are three aisles of shelving units. Each unit is quite wide, probably 20 feet or so.

ComputersOne of the computer areas. This was about 15 minutes after the opening.

East EntranceThe east entrance from the south side. A city street used to be where the stairs and the ramp are now. The entire area in front of the library has been turned into a plaza. The entrance and the side to the left of it are new. That's where the cafe and bookstore are located. The inside of the building was completely gutted and remodeled. If you've been there before you won't recognize it as the same building, nothing is where it was.

East EntranceThe east entrance from the north side.
Aaargh. I got a little frustrated adding these pictures. They kept disappearing on me! Aside from that, it was a GREAT day!!

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