PCPL Imagination Portal renovation well underway

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Good things are happening at the Putnam County Library as the Imagination Portal renovation is well underway.

Library Director Grier Carson informed the Putnam County Public Library Board during its monthly meeting on Wednesday evening that construction in the youth services area has now entered a new phase.

"Demolition was successfully completed in early September (with only a few minor hiccups) while new framing and new flooring are all currently being installed," Carson explained. "We also have lots of new paint colors going up."

Carson noted that with the installation of the new flooring, work will begin on bookshelf reassembly and cabinet installation. All technology resources and programming appliances have also all been ordered and are set to arrive in time for the completion of the space.

The new Imagination Portal will contain a number of features including three large flat screen monitors, which will be installed in each programming/creativity space including the story time area, classroom/cooking area and digital creativity corner.

The space will also include both iMacs and Windows PCs throughout the area for patron use and catalog access along with an HD projector with drop down screen in the story time space. There will also be a special curved wall featuring a mini-stage for puppet shows and presentations, special "book nook" seating, Apple TVs for streaming content as well as a new grand entrance.

"We're in that heavy phase," Carson said. "Renovations are well underway. We're a little behind schedule because of paint change ups. The carpeting should be done by next Wednesday. The area of the floor where the tree (which will be installed Wednesday) is going to go will also be done by next Wednesday."

As was previously discussed, the library will be holding a grand opening event. Carson noted that the event will now take place during the Halloween extravaganza on Friday, Oct. 31 at 3:30 p.m.

Everyone in the community is invited to attend. There will be a brief presentation of the space followed by the distribution of library bags of free books, Imagination Portal information and other goodies.

"Our hope is that by combining these events, we not only attract a large number of families to begin enjoying the new space, but also incorporate the fun and whimsy of the Halloween spirit in the Imagination Portal grand opening," Carson said. "We expect many eager and fully-costumed patrons on the 31st! Once upon a time it was going to be done in September. That's what happens with these projects."

Carson also informed the board that work continues with WynWay Technologies on the new website, which is expected to be ready for a soft launch within the coming weeks.

"Though we've run into a series of impediments to the originally planned September internal beta test, the latest iteration of the site is very close to a working version that will soon be shared with staff and board members alike for review," Carson explained.

It was also noted that Overdrive records have successfully been downloaded and indexed in Polaris. There are now more than 18,000 Overdrive records in the system ready for patron access.

"Tech services has done an amazing job in implementing Overdrive," Carson said. "There's a lot more work involved in essentially massaging data so that it works with your automated system then you would think. It's not a matter of turning Overdrive on and importing 18,000 records and the next day it's done. There's always a glitch, there's always a need to redo it."

Carson also noted that it took three nights to download the Consortium records, which are the records that the patrons will have access to through the larger Digital Indiana Consortium.

"As reported last month, all PCPL staff are trained in the use of Overdrive and will be able to assist any patron with questions about the service," Carson added. "It's taken a lot of focus and energy from our great Tech Services team to make this happen, and they deserve acknowledgment for having seen this work through."

Overdrive is expected to be ready to launch within the coming weeks.

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