New spaces at your libraries |

New spaces at your libraries

Jessica Hudson
Special to The Union

Although we love our libraries just as they are, we also know that we need to change and progress to meet the evolving needs of our users and our communities. This year will be a big one for our library locations, in particular the Madelyn Helling Library in Nevada City.

Madelyn Helling Library

Parking Project

The library and the county's Facilities Department have received a grant to increase the parking available at the Madelyn Helling Library. The library will be adding 17 new parking spaces in the summer of 2013. For anyone who has visited this branch on a summer day, when children's programming is taking place in the kids room and the Gene Albaugh Community Room has an event in full swing, you know that it can be hard to find a parking space.

In order to increase parking, Helling Way leading up the hill to the library will be widened. After the roadway is widened, 17 new parallel parking spaces will be placed along that stretch. These additional parking spaces will help allow additional users to visit the library or to attend events or programs in the Gene Albaugh Community Room or the Collaborative Technology Center.

Gene Albaugh Community Room naming and projector equipment

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In March of 2013, the community room at the Madelyn Helling Library was named in honor of the late Gene Albaugh. In addition to naming the space, the library has also purchased and installed a ceiling-mounted projector in the Gene Albaugh Community Room. Community room users use the space for traditional meeting purposes as well as enhanced presentations using the projector equipment in tandem with their laptops or other media players for no additional charge.

Construction of the Collaborative Technology Center

The library has also been the recipient of three granting sources that will allow it to open up a Collaborative Technology Center, as part of and affixed to the Madelyn Helling Library. The Collaborative Technology Center will bring an additional 2,000 square feet of space to the Helling Library to be filled with technology tools and classes. The space will house 15 PCs, five Macs, 20 netbooks and 20 iPads, as well as recreational technology equipment such as 3D printers, videography equipment and class sets of eReaders like the Kindle Fire and the Nook Color.

The 2,000 square feet of space will have traditional computer use areas, open seating areas, instructional/classroom settings, as well as two collaborative use rooms. The two collaborative use rooms, approximately 10 1/2-by-11 1/2 feet in size, can be used for quiet work alone, group work on a technology or recreation projects, video conferencing through the 40-inch flat screens on the wall or other uses as needs arise. They will be bookable through library staff once the space as a whole is open and usable.

In addition to simply having this space available to users, the library will also be offering classes and courses to the public. These classes will vary by interest and needs of the community, but initial courses will include:

• Digital literacy building classes such as how to use Microsoft Office suite, how to get a free email and how to find things on the Internet.

• Recreational technology classes such as how to use a 3D printer, how to edit and create your own clips and films and how to use a tablet computer for gaming and fun.

• Employability-related classes such as how to write a resume, how to search and apply for jobs online and how to use social media to find work.

We will be asking the public for other classes and courses they would like to see offered — so be sure to let us know! The Collaborative Technology Center is slated for opening in August (or earlier!) of 2013.

New Shelving at

Penn Valley Library Station

The Penn Valley Station is our smallest library location at just 1,365 square feet. With this type of space, it's essential that we use every area as best we can! To that end, we will be purchasing one or two additional shelving units to place on the wall, near the entry, in Penn Valley. These additional shelving units will allow the collection to spread out a bit, to increase the paperback collection in the branch and to provide space to display the featured items and staff picks. We expect the new shelving to be in place in fall 2013.

As you have read, there is a lot happening and most of it is in the near future! Be sure to stop in today and see the progress we are making on creating even more usable spaces and places for you to enjoy your libraries.

Jessica Hudson is the Nevada County Librarian.

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