Main Library preparing for move to temporary Keller Park branch
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind.—The St. Joseph County Main Library is preparing to make their big temporary move into the former Brown Intermediate building at the beginning of November.
October is the Main Library’s last month of operation in their building on Jefferson Street in downtown South Bend. The library’s last day open will be Thursday, October 31.
Lisa O’Brien, the director of development and continuous improvement for the SJCPL, has spent long hours working to coordinate a smooth transition for both library staff and the St. Joseph County community.
“It’s only temporary. We have the renovation to look forward to. A brand new library that will meet the needs of the public after this is all done so it’ll be difficult. but it’s only going to be about a year and a half,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien was happy to report that many of the popular services that are unique to the Main Library will have a temporary home at Brown Intermediate, which will be known as the temporary Keller Park Branch, located at 737 Beale St.
“Luckily we were able to move over are Local and Family History and our Studio 304 services. Those are the two that people were very concerned about because they’re very specialized services that serve a unique population and you can’t find those services at branches,” O’Brien said.
Podcasters and musicians will be able to use three recording studios that will be available at the temporary branch. Reservations for the recording studios may be done by phone at (574) 282-4646.
The temporary Keller Park Branch will open in early December 2019 with special early morning hours. The hours will be Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The public phone number will remain the same.
Public computers and WiFi will be available at the temporary branch.
In terms of movie and book collections, the library says the collection at Keller Park will be comparable in size to River Park or Tutt.
Saying farewell to the Main Library (for now)
In the spirit of celebrating the move, the library has crafted a list of farewell events for library users to take part in throughout the month of October.
“It’s not a sad time, it’s a time to say goodbye, share memories and just look forward to the future,” O’Brien said.
First up, on September 21, the Main Library will host the first of two garage sales, where they’re hoping to get rid of used office furniture, equipment, even card holders. The sale will run from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday at 305 S. Michigan St.
Throughout the month of October, library goers can stop into the current Main Library and write a note for the time capsule as well as write on the smARTbox’s walls before it comes down for renovations.
“Kids and adults can come in and write notes to future generations for our time capsule which we will bury in the courtyard. We will also have graffiti walls where patrons can just write their notes and memories. It’s not every day that you can actually write on the walls,” O’Brien said.
On Saturday, October 26 in the Main Library Plaza at 10 a.m., the library will be giving away plants and flowers from the library garden.
“Because the area where the plants are located will be renovated and under new construction, we want to be able to give those plants to the public to enjoy,” O’Brien said.