The Maplewood branch of the Ramsey County Library will reopen Nov. 4 after operating out of a kiosk at Maplewood Mall for months while its building was closed for renovations.
The building, on Southlawn Drive, was built in 2007. Renovations address two challenges: noise and access, said Monica Stratton, library manager.
Stratton said that even though there's no longer an expectation that libraries are silent, high ceilings and metal girders amplified sound from kid and teen areas, making the library noisy. The renovated library has features that will dampen ambient sound.
The long, skinny building will be reconfigured to move sections popular with older adults — large type and periodicals — closer to the front of the library, making them more accessible to people with mobility issues.
Patrons will also find nine study rooms — which can be reserved for free — when the library reopens. That's triple the number it previously had, a change made in response to higher demand because of remote work and learning.
"I am really excited to offer that to the community because that has been an incredibly growing need," Stratton said. There will also be new carpet, lighting and furniture, and many new books.
On Nov. 4, the library will host a grand reopening celebration, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, live music and activities.