Sandy Ringstrom, the 's interim director, likened the hundreds—if not thousands—of library goers Monday to a deer in headlights.
"Everybody just kind of seems a bit dazed when they got in here," she said. "Most of them were looking at the wall changing colors."
Ringstrom said turnout for the library's soft opening Monday—a public grand opening is set for March 26—was about what library officials expected.
"There weren't like thousands of people that lined up to get in this morning, but it's been pretty steady all day," she said.
Parking was hard to come by. So were empty public computer spaces. Kids stuck their faces to the window outside, oohing and ahhing before seeing the new library firsthand.
In case you haven't had a chance to get their yourself, here's a few facts courtesy of the Fountaindale Board of Trustees. We also have plenty of photos, and a video tour, of the new three-story library in our photos and video section.
Or you can view the video tour by clicking .
Fountaindale Public Library New Library Fact Sheet
- Project cost: $39.5 million.
- 96,000 square feet (plus a 14,000 square foot basement).
- The library will be applying for the Gold Level LEED rating. NOTE: Library architects say the building is on pace to gain the certification.
- Building concept: Library in the Park.
- Fritted glass simulates light passing through leaves of a tree—helps to diffused 60 percent of direct sunlight entering the building.
- Automated Materials Handling System utilizing radio frequency identification tags to facilitate the return of materials.
- 13 self-checkout machines located throughout the building to facilitate checkout of materials.
- 18 dedicated public catalogs for finding library materials.
- High-speed Wi-Fi throughout the building.
- 101 public computers, 94 with high-speed Internet and the latest Microsoft Office Suite.
- Nine Apple iMac computers.
- Digital microfilm reader in Local History Room.
- First floor: Children's Services, including various themed "parks"; 26 computers, including four iMacs and four AWE Early Literacy Station computers; a 50 seat Storytime Room with integrated audio/visual system; Circulation Desk (checkout, material holds, material returns); meeting rooms (Meeting Room A has a capacity of 150 people and integrated audio/visual system, Meeting Room B has a capacity of 50 people, with integrated audio/visual system including videoconferencing); art gallery space; and a cafe.
- Second Floor: Dedicated teen area called The Vortex with integrated audio/visual system, media wall, and an eight seat computer lab; young adult fiction section, magazine and reference collection; group study rooms; audio/visual materials; 40 seat computer commons and 20 seat computer lab; administrative offices; information technology; and technical services (acquisitions, cataloging, material processing).
- Third Floor: Dedicated business center with five computers, a typewriter, color copier and fax machine; quiet reading room; local history room; six group study rooms; adult and teen non-fiction; adult fiction; new adult fiction; and non-fiction.
- Referendum passed February 2008.
- Groundbreaking August 2009.
- Building open to public March 2011.
- Demolition of old building begins late March 2011.
- Final completion of parking and landscaping expected Fall 2011.