When the current library building opened in 1970 Credence Clearwater Revival wanted to know “Who Will Stop the Rain,” a gallon of gas cost you thirty-six cents, and you could buy a house for under ten thousand dollars.
In the library there were no computers, you found your materials using the card catalog. If you needed to find magazine articles for research, you needed to comb through enormous volumes of the Reader’s Guide to Periodicals. The library was designed for this world.
Fast forward to today. The library building has held up surprisingly well. In fact, we would argue we have one of the best library facilities around, but there are opportunities for improvement, and now is the time.
Skill Building & Training
Lifelong learning is a top priority at McMillan. We provide Gale Courses (hundreds of online classes) and work with community partners on additional educational programs. The Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Premiere, and more) is available on Makerspace computers, along with classes on the software. The project removes the physical limitations we have faced. With five small study rooms, a training room, the McCourt Room, a large meeting room and a renovated auditorium, we will be able to support a wide range of opportunities for the general public.
Cultural and Music Events
Arts-related events, such as the Monday Movies series, the Cowboy Union Jam, and other concerts are an important part of McMillan’s program and the cultural life of the community. Not only does McMillan bring a wide variety of cultural opportunities to the community; it is an all-ages, alcohol-free, handicapped accessible venue. Since events are presented without charge, it serves the entire community. Redesigning the space is necessary since the 1970 design did not foresee current use, especially in the area of handicapped accessibility. The renovated theater will have dedicated wheelchair seating, a hearing loop and ramp access to the stage.
Our enterprise center will support all aspects of a small business, serving as an office and workplace. This helps workers avoid the isolation they may experience while telecommuting, traveling, or working at home, while also eliminating distractions. There is currently no equivalent space within an hour’s drive. When completed, McMillan’s enterprise center will be state of the art. It will include small meeting rooms, quiet workrooms, an additional training / meeting room, CAD/CAM software, a fully equipped makerspace / prototyping facility, and Adobe Creative Cloud software (Premiere, Photoshop, and more), as well as a coffee shop and standard business equipment. The enterprise center will incorporate many aspects of the coworking concept.
McMillan’s theater and meeting rooms provide a free space where government agencies, nonprofits and even interested individuals can gather to discuss, inform and enrich the community. The theater is a unique resource, allowing for larger gatherings than most libraries can handle. Renovating the theater will make this resource both more handicapped accessible and more flexible.
We have seen a steep increase in online meetings and educational offerings. The existing open plan of the Adult Room does not support these well. The project addresses this with five small study rooms and a larger training room. The rooms also function as face-to-face tutorial or meeting space. This will relieve pressure on the heavily booked McCourt and All-Purpose rooms, which are essential resources for many community groups and organizations.
The project converts the Adult Room into a large Learning Commons. This starts with the makerspace. Programs for tweens, teens, and adults. Programming covers the technical and artistic / artisan; including sculpture (both physical and digital), painting, textiles, photography, video, CAD/CAM, circuits, coding, robotics, and writing. The meeting and training rooms are also an important part of building a creative space.
Library Director Andy Barnett joined Coffee with the Chamber to discuss the project. If you missed it, you can enjoy the 30 minute overview of Learning Futures.