The historic George Latimer Central Library, overlooking Rice Park in downtown St. Paul, reopens Saturday after a major 21st-century overhaul, reports the Star Tribune.
The nearly 100-year-old building is now home to a workforce and innovation center. It includes the city’s first maker space for adults, complete with a 3-D printer, laser cutter, recording studios, design software, and more. Visitors perusing fiction below the ornately painted ceiling and chandeliers of the library’s Nicholson Commons can charge laptops and phones throughout the room. And many areas have been reconfigured to meet the growing demand for small group workspace.
The $1.3 million update of the large downtown library was paid for by private donations and is the latest in a series of library renovations in St. Paul. Libraries in Arlington Hills, the East Side, and Highland Park have also seen major changes, including more group and individual workspace and a teen technology center.
In addition to the high-tech equipment, St. Paul is attempting to draw people into the downtown library by rethinking the layout of its rooms, adding comfortable chairs and removing imposing staff desks at some entrances.
[H/T Star Tribune]