By Derek Gean (Leonard Wood)November 5, 2015
Changes are coming to Fort Leonard Wood's Bruce C. Clarke Library. The library was recently awarded almost $95,000 through the Army Library Program's Million Dollar Makeover competition.
The makeover will enhance what was the periodical, graphic novels and genealogy area, said Claretta Crawford, library director.
"The library is 26 years old and has never had any renovation or updating done to it, besides getting new carpet five years ago," Crawford said. "Libraries have changed in the past 25 years, and we want to incorporate some of those changes in our makeover."
The program was designed to provide select garrisons with $100,000 in makeover funds. The goal was to fund two makeovers per region. The library staff had to present three proposals for the competition. The libraries that showed the most need and demonstrated the most creativity were selected to make their ideas a reality.
"The Community Services staff put together three proposals, one for each of the design categories, children, teen/young adult and collaborative areas. The collaborative area proposal was selected by the judges," Crawford said.
The makeover will include new furniture, featuring a modern, trendy European café type flair with bistro tables and chairs.
"The makeover will enhance the library experience for the younger Soldiers," Crawford said. The furniture will include bistro tables and chairs, gaming stations with television monitors, colorful couches as well as a large, modern conference table for collaborative purposes.
"It will be a place that Soldiers can come to relax, have fun and take advantage of what the library has to offer. Soldiers can also bring their individual devices to utilize the free Wi-Fi, online books, periodicals and databases," Crawford said.
Library staff members are hoping the improvements will encourage more Soldiers to take advantage of the free video games in the Media Zone.
"We also hope to see them using the new space for collaborating on class projects, individual study, or use of the (local area network) drops and Wi-Fi," Crawford said.
Library technicians Elizabeth Hicks and Andrea Galbusieri, along with input from the rest of the staff, came up with the winning proposal.
"The Army Library's Million Dollar Makeover gave us a great opportunity to envision what Fort Leonard Wood Soldiers and community would like to see in their library," Hicks said. "As a staff, we came together and designed proposals that we felt would provide a welcoming and useful environment that our patrons would love. With this award we are going to be able to update our facilities to provide a contemporary and fresh area for our patrons to work, game and spend their leisure time."
Staff members have already started cleaning out the renovation area and Crawford said they hope to have the area clear by Jan. 1 so electrical work can begin. The project is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 30, 2016, the end of the fiscal year.