Station Branch library space redesign plan presented

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Station Branch library space redesign plan presented
Elisabeth Martin, a principal at the architectural firm MDA designgroup, explains parts of a draft plan for Station Branch. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

Great Neck Library trustees, librarians and administrators saw the first draft of an evolving plan for transforming the Station Branch at a committee meeting Monday night, with planners highlighting possibilities for a brighter space.

Elisabeth Martin, a principal at MDA designgroup, said that as it stands, the leased 6,500-square-foot space above Best Market in Great Neck Plaza seems to be clashing with its faux stone, deep cranberry coloring and dark carpets. There is also a lack of light, she said, which is something that should be corrected.

“It feels cluttered, it feels dark, and it feels like it’s mismatched,” Martin said, noting this produces a sort of “heaviness” in the space. “Things are a little worn and they don’t coordinate well.”

A floor plan of the proposed changes for Station Branch. (Photo courtesy of MDA designgroup)
A floor plan of the proposed changes for Station Branch. (Photo courtesy of MDA designgroup)

The plan, as currently presented, would include a dedicated story area within the children’s area by the windows, letting in more natural light, creating a “maker lab” and a new quiet study with iPads. It would also create an open study area and boost the number of computers from eight to 12.

Martin also noted blue and green carpeting with walls to match, utilizing colors like green, aqua blue, light grey and white. There were also a number of suggested purchases – but no decisions made – for seating cubes, pouf and standard chairs, ceiling tiles, vinyl and other items.

“It’s about giving it a welcoming nature, it’s about creating a fluid, open, flexible sense of space, trying to bring activity toward the few windows where they exist, and creating a people space along the perimeter,” Martin said. “[It’s] giving a mix of seating choices, having quiet rooms, noisy, all available – you choose what you need, what you want.”

The Station Branch space redesign, as currently laid out, would feature patterned green, blue and grey carpeting with walls and furniture to complement it. (Photo rendering from MDA designgroup)
The Station Branch space redesign, as currently laid out, would feature patterned green, blue and grey carpeting with walls and furniture to complement it. (Photo rendering from MDA designgroup)

Trustees and administrators made a number of suggestions like changing the shape of the circulation desk, moving some computers so they can be seen and monitored by librarians and switching the proposed locations of the staff lounge and director’s office.

Some also suggested lockable door storage, the possibility of storing more items in the director’s office to give workers more space, and having more backed chairs in the children’s area so family members  can be more comfortable.

Martin said the design firm would incorporate all of the suggested changes.

Martin is also working on developing plans for re-designing the space at the Parkville Branch, located at 10 Campbell St. in New Hyde Park.

Great Neck Library Trustee Josie Pizer said Martin has been very nice to work with so far and that the draft plan presents many good things.

“I think it’s all positive,” Pizer said.

Great Neck Library Trustee Barry Smith said he believes updating the library’s Station and Parkville branches is necessary to invigorate both staff and community members, while representing a sort of “renaissance.”

“The goal is to invite the community to know we’re in a new age, we’re going forward, we’re revitalizing the library,” Smith said.

Library Director Denise Corcoran echoed that sentiment, saying that working in a beautiful space can make working more enjoyable and positive.

“I think surroundings make a difference,” Corcoran said.

The next Branch Committee meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 27, at 7:30 p.m. in the Parkville Branch.

Other committees to meet include the Policy & By-Laws Committee on Thursday, June 7, at 7:30 p.m., the Finance Committee on Wednesday, June 13, at 7 p.m., and the Main Building Committee on Thursday, June 14, at 7:30 p.m.

There will also be a Board of Trustees meeting at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 19.

All of these meetings will take place at the Main Library, which is located at 159 Bayview Ave. in Great Neck.

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