Moscow Library Construction

News From the Latah County Library District Director

From the Friends of the Moscow Library Fall Newsletter 2021

by Chris Sokol

Renovation of the Moscow Library main floor is finally happening! The board of trustees of the Latah County Library District voted to accept a bid from K & G Construction and the project will begin right after Labor Day. We will try to keep the library open during the entire construction period so be prepared for occasional dust, din and discombobulation when you visit the library over the next few months.

Here’s what we’re planning:

  • Improve the two petite-sized restrooms in the Carnegie portion of the library by modernizing, insulating and making them as ADA-compliant as possible. Remove the false ceiling to expose the arched top of the windows.
  • Install a café-style counter at the south-facing windows in the New Book area to allow multiple readers and laptop users to enjoy a direct view to the outside.
  • Convert the two restrooms in the adult area to gender-neutral single-user access, with locking outer doors.
  • Improve the dim lighting in the youth rooms.
  • Create a circulation workroom where the current circulation desk and work area are now, to reduce clutter and allow staff to perform work with less distraction (and less room for error), while lessening workspace congestion in the lower level.
  • Replace the circulation desk with a mobile service desk that will be more accommodating to those in wheelchairs as well as children.
  • Create a small office between the existing women’s restroom and the new circulation workroom, to provide the circulation department manager with an office that has real walls and a door rather than a 5’x 6.5′ cubicle nestled among several other cubicles in the lower level

Here’s a snapshot of the Moscow Library building history: It was built in 1905-1906 with a grant from Andrew Carnegie. In 1931 an addition almost doubling the space was added on the east side. In 1982 a modest addition was added on the north side. No major renovation to the main floor has been done since 1982, except for new carpet, paint and realignment and addition of shelving in the early 2000s. Our space continues to be inadequate for a modern public library, but until we can expand, we opted for a facelift and some reconfiguration to make more efficient use of the space we have. This project is partially supported by a grant from the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation.