J.R. Clarke Public Library reopens following renovation


By Kelsi Langton

For the Miami Valley Today

COVINGTON — Book lovers will be glad to hear that the long-awaited reopening of the J.R. Clarke Public Library has arrived. The library’s Spring Street location has been closed for renovations since March 2021. A temporary High Street location was offered to patrons during the closure. According to an announcement on the library’s website, the doors opened to the public beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 31.

The interior and all three floors of the library have been remodeled for the first time since the early 1980s. Some of the updates include an ADA-compliant lift, new bathrooms with touch-less fixtures, and new televisions throughout.

“There are no structural additions to the current facility. It’s just the inside layout [that] is completely different,” said Amy Welborn, a member of the library’s staff. “The one thing I think the librarian staff is excited for the community is everything flows a little bit more naturally and is more accommodating for the community,” Welborn added.

The basement of the library boasts a newly remodeled community room that is used for library-sponsored classes and events. Updated features of the room include a full kitchen, a “maker’s area” for STEAM programs, new tables and chairs, a new television, and practical storage areas. The community room, which has a maximum occupancy of 100 people, can also be rented out by patrons.

The main floor has new tables with built-in outlets and USB ports for patrons to bring their own devices. There is a new intake room where staff members clean and sort books, a new circulation desk, and several sitting areas, one of which showcases an electric fireplace.

The third floor of the library hosts the children’s section. Among the updates to this floor are new tables and chairs, a seating area with a projector, and new shelves with built-in desks, reading nooks, and board game carts. Also located on the top floor is the library’s historical Alcove Room, which is still undergoing renovation.

Patrons should note there is a new entrance to the library, which directly faces the parking lot. The Spring Street entrance is no longer in service and has been converted to an emergency exit only. However, the book drop location has not changed. In addition, though the library’s phone number has remained the same, they have installed a new phone system. Patrons must dial extension number 2 if they wish to speak to someone at the circulation desk.

The architect on the project was Andrew Circle from Troy. Construction for the remodel was completed by Westerheide Construction out of Sidney.

No posts to display