With a new focus on digital technology and reconfiguring of old spaces to create a more “comfy” feel, the Carson City Library hosted a grand re-opening Thursday.
“It’s part of the strategic plan that was passed at the end of last year,” said Tammy Westergard, the library’s deputy director. “It includes all parts of the library.”
The highlight of the new look and updated services is the combined auditorium and digital commons, dubbed the Digitorium. While still set up to be used as an auditorium, the room now also offers laptops students can borrow on site and booths where they can sit to do their work, along with a sound booth.
“They’re equipped with the full Adobe suite, so they can produce movies and podcasts right here,” Westergard said. “You can make movies in the library without making a sound.”
The Digitorium was created through a grant in partnership with the Carson City School District and will be used by students, particularly freshmen, to create their digital portfolios.
“We’re helping the district take a bite out of that apple,” Westergard said. “It’s pretty exciting.”
Throughout the rest of the library, a new teen center, complete with a computer and video game stations, opened, switching spaces with the children’s section.
The adult area, with a bank of computers available for public use as well as newspaper and periodical selections, is now housed upstairs. It also includes a training center, where classes in technology and other subjects are taught each week.
“For all of the sophisticated technology available for the youth, we have the same set-up for adults,” Westergard explained. “But you can feel how quiet and grown up it is up here.”
Westergard said the library has gone forward with plans to create a digital hub, despite a failed bond issue to expand the library.
“We really are doing everything we said we would do in a new building,” she said. “We’re just doing it here. But it’s hard to wire an old building like this.”
And people are using the services.
She said more than 14,000 e-books were downloaded from the library last year and more than 308,000 wireless minutes were used. More than 1,000 adults and youth use the library each day, six days a week, and more than 31,000 active library cards were used in the library within the past six months.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday evening officially introduced the Digitorium after a daylong open house.
“I’m very excited,” said Carson City Library Director Sena Loyd. “This space is going to provide students a place to really be creative away from the confines of a classroom.”