The newly-renovated and re-designed, 21st-century Gaithersburg Library re-opened today with an official ribbon-cutting, special programs, musical entertainment and a large turnout from the community that has been awaiting this day.
Local officials participating in the Grand Re-opening were County Executive Ike Leggett; County Council President and Lead for Libraries (on the Health and Human Services sub-committee) Craig Rice; Council vice president George Leventhal and Councilmember Phil Andrews (Dist. 3); Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney A. Katz; Department of General Services Director David Dise; Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) Director Parker Hamilton; and Gaithersburg Branch Manager Kay Bowman. The State Division of Library Development and Services was represented by State Librarian Irene Padilla, and the Gaithersburg Library Advisory Committee was represented by Chairman Christopher Dentel.
Leggett said, “Although, the Gaithersburg Library is more than 30 years old, it is now a 21st-century library that offers new kinds of services for job seekers, new Americans, students, seniors and young children. It will also be a hub for community life, where residents can connect with each other face-to-face or connect with people and resources on the other side of the world.”
“As Lead for Libraries, it is exciting when we open a new library that represents so much to a community,” said Rice. “Our libraries are community hubs, areas for research, and places to allow you to simply relax and read. All of these and more are why libraries are so integral to our community and are what make Montgomery County such a great place to live.”
“We are thankful for all of the hard work that went into this major renovation and expansion of the Gaithersburg Library,” said Mayor Katz. “With the efforts of Montgomery County, residents of all ages now have access to expanded library resources and services in a vibrant and environmentally friendly facility, enhancing the quality of life in our diverse community.”
MCPL Director Hamilton thanked all “who made this day a reality. We are pleased to offer 21st-century public library services to the residents of Montgomery County through our newly renovated Gaithersburg Branch. I am glad that the community has their library back, and the doors are open, once again, for business.”
Following are some highlights of the new building:
The two-story, 62,505 square-foot facility is located at 18330 Montgomery Village Ave. the same location where the 36,814 square-foot, one-story library opened in 1981.
The adult, children’s and teen materials are conveniently located on the main level, in addition to the public access computers. The dedicated teen room has an overhead projection system to accommodate a variety of media.
Books & Materials
There are more than 100,000 print volumes and access to an array of online databases. The World Language collection includes Farsi.
An Information kiosk with a map/directory of the building, also displays a daily listing of programs and meetings, plus three information guide PC’s provide answers to frequently asked questions about the building. There are 40 internet PC’s, five catalog PC’s and a Computer Lab with 12 PC’s. Five self-service checkout workstations are provided for customer convenience. “Computer bars” in the Quiet Study, Teen and Adult collection are powered to allow the public to use their laptops and local WiFi.
Green/Energy Efficient Features
As part of the stormwater management system, vegetative roof areas capture and filter runoff. Metal grid trellis walls are designed to support climbing plants resulting in green vegetated walls. Windows, roof monitors, skylights and clearstories flood the interior and reduce the need for artificial lighting. The building is equipped with water-saving plumbing fixtures. The parking lot contains specified spaces for fuel efficient cars.
A coffee bar/café in the lobby area features café seating and access to the courtyard garden. A stylized leaf mobile above the Information Desk marks the entrance to the Children’s collections. The entry lobby and atrium are defined by a thick masonry wall of locally quarried fieldstone. A 300-seat public meeting room shares the top floor with the offices of the County’s Charles W. Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity.
The architectural team consisted of Whitman Requardt & Associates, LLP and Ann Beha Architects. Construction was performed by Henley Construction Company, Inc. which was also the construction contractor for the original Gaithersburg Library. Overall project management was handled by the County’s Department of General Services with Mariam Zarif serving as project manager. The total cost of the redesign and renovation project is $23,041,000.
Partial funding was supplied through the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Library Development and Services, County Library Capital Project Grant Program.
Hours, contact information
The Gaithersburg 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.
To reach the library, call 240-773-9490. The Branch Manager is Kay Bowman.
For more information about the library, its layout, programs and services, and to read more highlights, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/library and find Gaithersburg under Branches.
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