The Manhasset Public Library is looking to reshape the existing interior design of the building. The project, which is still in the design phase, will need to be approved by the state before construction can start.
The project was presented to the Greater Council of Manhasset Civic Associations on June 12 and a tentative timeline was laid out. The library hopes to award the bid by December 2019, start construction by January 2020 and complete the project by December 2021. The presumptive cost of the project would be around $1 million according to Library Director Maggie Gough.
The funds come from donations, grants and a reserve fund that the library has been saving to use in a situation like this. The reshaping of the library will provide more seating on every floor, create more collaborative settings, make the library more secure and replace old furniture and flooring.
“We want to improve patron services and make more flexible use space,” said Gough. “The community has been asking for additional space to collaborate, play games and to study. When we took a hard look at the spaces we have now, we’re trying to design them in such a way that we can provide more of what our patron base was asking for. And do it so that it is more secure with better sight lines for the librarians.”
The library currently does not have any security guards and there is no plan to add any. But there are currently at least 60 cameras inside and outside the building and the design concepts formulated thus far will add even more cameras. The camera system can also be seen by the Nassau County Police Department.
The lower level of the library would add an adult collaborative space with tech capabilities and upgrading the audio, video-projector and sound system in the community room. The seating would increase from 158 to 191, as presented by the library to the greater council.
The first floor would have a new and improved circulation service area, enhanced lobby area with book and media display, improved study and conversation space, decrease in shelving and a new carpet. The floor would see an increase in seating from 64 to 89 with two new units of pod seating.
The second floor will be completely revamped in its design and be reconfigured greatly compared to the other floors of the library. The proposed design by architect Elisabeth Martin of MDA Design Group would have a new open study space with booth seating, a new history center office, improved reference desk, new glass wall conference and study room, built-in seating, tech counter seating, an enhanced silent study room, new tech infused furnishing and a new carpet as well. The seating of the floor would increase from 90 to 149.
The third floor, which has a children’s and teen section, would not be reconfigured as much as the rest of the library. In fact, the children’s section will not be touched at all, but Gough says that could change in future phases of the project. According to the proposed plan, the teen section would have booth seating, built-in window seating, tech counter seating, a collaborative glass walled area, new shelving and a new carpet.
Built in 2005, the library has not seen any major repairs or design changes since its inception. Gough does stress that these plans are not finalized, especially the increase in seating numbers that are currently best-case scenario numbers.
“What we’re really looking to do is provide a variety of seating,” said Gough. “You would have seating that is soft seating or comfortable chairs, seating specifically designed for relaxed reading situations or conversation, then you would also have different kind of work modes. Some people like to work in a cubicle, some like to work on a table so they can spread out their materials and plug in their devices. We’re trying to provide an increased variety of seating and increased opportunity to work either individually or collaboratively. If you’re going to do collaborative seating, we have to provide a space where there can be noise or talking. We have to figure out the logistics of that as well as purchase the correct furnishing to go with that.”