Following the traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony, the redesigned and renovated Olney Library opened for business on Saturday, March 15, with a large crowd of eager library customers on hand to celebrate the reopening of the new, larger facility at 3500 Olney Laytonsville Rd.
This is the second library in the Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) system to reopen within the past two months following a major redesign and renovation. Gaithersburg Library reopened on January 4. A third library project – construction of the new Silver Spring Library – will be completed before the end of the year.
County Executive Ike Leggett said, “With all its materials, rooms, resources, programs and services, this library will be a ‘center’ for this very active community in no time at all. It is a place where residents of all ages and background can come together to be educated and entertained. I’m especially proud that we were able to add hours to the schedule so customers will have even more time in which to take advantage of all the library has to offer.”
Under the Olney renovation project, the original building, which opened in 1981, was increased in size from 16,474 total gross square feet to 22,574 total gross square feet.
Another major change for the new library is that more hours (19 more each week than before) have been added to the schedule, bringing it in line with the larger libraries in the system.
Although the new structure is dramatically different from the original library that opened in 1981, parts of the old building remain. On the outside, customers will recognize the distinctive “Delights of Reading” mosaic artwork that was transferred from the original building to the portion of the new structure overlooking the storm water management area. Inside bricks and wood paneling from the original building were included.
Local officials participating in the Grand Reopening ceremony, in addition to County Executive Leggett, were: County Council President Craig Rice, also the Lead for libraries (on the Health and Human Services sub-committee); Councilmember Nancy Navarro (Dist. 4); MCPL Director Parker Hamilton; Department of General Services Director David Dise; Greater Olney Civic Association President John Webster; Olney Branch Manager Joseph Eagan; and Olney Library Advisory Committee Co-Chair Jensen S. Chiu.
"Olney has been a strong advocate for its newly renovated library, which demonstrates the continuing need and relevancy of libraries in our county,” Rice said. “Our libraries are the hub of our communities and provide a myriad of services and programs to meet the expanding needs of our residents. Olney Library is a shining example of the evolution of libraries and all they can offer."
Department of General Services Director David Dise said, “The new Olney Library is a fine example of sustainability in the design and construction of public buildings that includes highly efficient mechanical systems, locally sourced and recycled materials, and daylight harvesting to reduce heating and cooling loads. The building’s exterior and interior design is modern and distinctive. The Olney community can be proud of its newly renovated and expanded library and DGS is proud to present it to the community and all library patrons.”
MCPL Director Hamilton said, “The Department of General Services, The Lukmire Partnership and Milestone Construction have designed and built a magnificent facility using the best from the past melded with a contemporary architectural design. We have done the same with library services -- for example, print books and e-books; print magazines and Zinio; self-checkout and front desk checkout -- combining the best traditional library services with 21st- century technologies. This library provides customers with options, so they will find the best services to meet their needs.”
Prior to the ceremony, musical entertainment was provided by a quartet from St. John’s Episcopal School middle school band. The Friends of the Library, Olney Chapter sponsored three family-oriented programs during the weekend and provided refreshments at the opening on Saturday.
Following are some highlights of the new library:
The building is located on a 2.5 acre plot on Olney-Laytonsville Road, near the intersection with Georgia Avenue. The previous building was selectively demolished, completely renovated on its interior with space constructed for a new Teen Reading Area and expanded Children’s Room.
The new Children’s Program Room has privacy glass. There are two group study rooms for up to eight individuals in the Adult Reading Room. The separate Teen Area has specially designed seating and a collaboration wall, plus lockers and a group study room for up to six persons. A 100-seat meeting room has an operable partition wall and privacy glass. A bridge crosses the landscaped stormwater management area. The building is enhanced with energy-efficient glass and heating and cooling systems.
Books and Materials
Customers will have access to more than 80,000 volumes of printed materials. Among an array of other online services, they can view and check out titles of their choosing from 100 magazines through Zinio, the world’s largest digital newsstand and check-out and read books through the 3M Cloud Library e-book lending system.
There are 21 internet All in One PCs in the adult and children’s reading rooms. The library also features three self-checkout stations, a DVD-dispensing self-checkout station, 3M e-reader s for checkout and tablets preloaded with the Zinio app that can be checked out for use inside the library. Tables in the teen and adult reading rooms are equipped with electrical outlets allowing the public to use their own mobile devices and laptops.
Architecture: The Lukemire Partnership. Construction: Milestone Construction Services, Inc. Overall project management: the Department of General Services; Robert Thompson , project manager for construction and Susanne Churchill, project manager for design. Total cost of the redesign and renovation is $12,909,000.
Hours, Contact Information
To reach the library, call 240-773-9545. The branch manager is Joseph Eagan. For additional information about the library, programs, etc., visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/library/branches/olney.html.
The Olney Library will be open Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.