The Winthrop public library’s current location on Highway 20 will be closed beginning May 21 in preparation for the opening of the new library on White Avenue on June 11.
Visitors to the current Winthrop library will see some changes over the next few weeks as materials are being packed up and distributed to other NCW Libraries locations. The new Winthrop Library location will have a nearly entirely new collection of books and materials, according to a press release from NCW Libraries.
“The books, materials and technology are ready and waiting to be installed as soon as construction on the new building wraps up,” NCW Libraries said.
During the closure, Winthrop Library users can access holds at the Twisp library. Winthrop library users can place new holds to either the Twisp library or the mail order library. Library materials can be returned to the Twisp library at any time.
Friends of the Winthrop Library (FOWL), the nonprofit that raised funds for construction of the new library, is organizing a grand opening celebration for June 11. More details will be forthcoming.
The new building will be turned over to the Town of Winthrop when completed, and its programs will be funded and operated by NCW Libraries, the regional library system that oversees 30 branches including those in Winthrop and Twisp.
Groundbreaking for the new library was in June 2020. The project is supported by FOWL’S private fundraising over the past several years, and a $2 million state grant.
The building was designed by Johnston Associates and P+B+W Architects. Impel Construction is the general contractor.
No additional taxes will be required to build or operate the new library. Town residents currently pay a library district assessment which goes to the NCW Libraries system. NCW Libraries will provide all the furnishings and equipment for the new building, as well as maintenance.
The 7,300-square-foot building, which will be more than six times the size of the current library, includes dedicated sections for kids, teens and adults; six windows with bench seating; and a living-room area with a fireplace and view of Mount Gardner.
The building also features separate rooms for community gatherings, lectures and activities, and a “maker space” for things like art projects, 3D printers and sewing machines. The main community gathering space can be accessed separately when the library is closed, and will include a catering kitchen. It can accommodate up to 72 people, or be divided by a soundproof barrier into two separate meeting spaces, each with access to covered outdoor areas.
The larger library will accommodate a bigger collection — more books, magazines, audio and movies. There will be public computers and printers. The entire facility will have free public Wi-Fi.
The library will feature artwork created by local artists Hannah Viano and Tori Karpenko, plus space for rotating exhibits. The building is designed to meet environmental standards and will be prepped for solar panels, which FOWL hopes to add.
For information, visit www.ncwlibraries.org or www.winthroplibraryfriends.org.