ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – This week’s reopening of St. Louis County Library’s Oak Bend branch means the $120 million renovation project is halfway done.
System Director Kristen Sorth says the Oak Bend branch in Kirkwood now features a colorful entryway to the kids section, a family section with restrooms and a laptop bar. The floor plan is a complete redesign and features a large circulation desk that welcomes visitors.
These improvements as well as the other upgrades in 19 of the 20 county library branches are thanks to the proceeds from a 2012 tax initiative.
Sorth says it all goes to show that old-fashioned paper books are alive and well. “Libraries are not going anywhere. We are busier than ever. In 2015, we actually checked 14 million items” she says.
Sorth adds the libraries are not ignoring advances in technology and offer free Wi-Fi in all 20 county branches.
Up next for renovations are the Natural Bridge, Cliff Cave and Prairie Commons branches, which open this fall. The entire project’s expected to wrap up sometime in 2020.
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