Opening of New Riverwalk Level Announced for Monday, June 4

Interim Library Scheduled to Open to Public Monday, June 4

Westport, CT – The Westport Library is thrilled to announce the opening of the new Riverwalk Level and Interim Library scheduled for Monday, June 4. The completion of this first phase of construction on the long-awaited Library Transformation Project will culminate in a special opening reception Monday, June 4 at the Library.

“After nearly a decade in the making, we could not be prouder to finally bring the dream of a new Westport Library to life for the community,” said Westport Library Executive Director Bill Harmer. “This Interim Library space will give us all an exciting preview of what’s to come when the entire building is completed in 2019, including stunning panoramic views of the Saugatuck River, the latest technology, a new program room, various quiet spaces, materials representing all elements of the Library’s collection, a MakerSpace and so much more!”   

During this next Phase II of the Transformation Project, the Library collection, which will be temporarily limited due to the reduction in footprint in the Interim space, will be available exclusively out of the Riverwalk Level while construction begins on the Main and Upper Levels. During Phase II, which is expected to last approximately 10 months, the Library will provide the same services currently available on-site including reference, circulation, account support and interlibrary loans. Westport Library cardholders will also continue to have access to the Library’s comprehensive suite of digital materials including electronic books, music, magazines and research databases.  

The Library will provide the same exceptional programming for the community, offering programs during the Interim phase on-site and at satellite locations throughout the community including: the YMCA, the Suzuki Music School, Christ and Holy Trinity Church, Saugatuck Congregational Church, the Westport Woman’s Club, The Conservative Synagogue, Beit Chaverim, Earthplace, the Westport Police Department, the Westport Historical Society, Westport Center for Senior Activities, Town Hall and other locations. In addition, staff will be available in the community at various venues offering select Library services on a fixed schedule.

To complete the move to the Interim space, starting Monday, May 14 the teen and adult book collections will be removed from the shelves, so that those shelves can be moved to the Riverwalk level where they will be reassembled.  Once this process begins, the adult book collection will be temporarily unavailable while it is being installed in the Interim Library. The audio/visual collection, the Children’s collection, new releases and display items will continue to be available.

From Wednesday, May 23 through Sunday, June 3, the Library will be closed to efficiently and safely transfer and shelve materials, disconnect and reconnect technology, and move and install other items in the new space. The Library’s digital collection will continue to be available; however, no other Library services or materials will be available until June 4. No fines will be levied during this period.

“As soon as we open the Interim Library, work will begin on the Main and Upper Levels,” said Harmer. “During this phase, the Great Hall will be transformed into the Forum – a large, flexible open space on the main floor that can be used for daily meeting and study and reconfigured to accommodate up to 650 people for large events. The Main Level will also feature more study space, highly visible customer service points, an exceptional collection of digital and physical materials (including audio/visual materials, new releases, curated collections of popular materials), the Library’s store, an expanded Café, including outdoor seating, plus a new recording studio and expanded MakerSpace.”  

Work will also begin on renovations to the Children’s Library during Phase II. This will include creating spaces that are more functional, flexible and fun, with visible activity areas that enjoy views of the River and Jesup Green. The renovation will create more opportunities for young people to dig into books, socialize, study, collaborate on group projects or attend classes or programs. New mechanical systems, including modernized restrooms, a new elevator and a more energy efficient HVAC system will also be installed.

To date, with the help of the Town of Westport, the State of Connecticut and the generosity of the Library’s friends and supporters, the Library has raised 88% of the funds required to complete the project. For more information about how to contribute and to learn about schedules and events, please visit the Library website as well as the Transformation Project website.

Please note: given the complexity of the project, these dates are subject to change. The Library encourages patrons to check the website and other library communications often for the latest updates.

Project Updates

MAPS:
Interim Phase, Satellite Locations and Parking
Library Parking During Transformation Project, Phase 2
Riverwalk Level/Interim Library

  • June 4 at 6:30 pm: Celebrate the Riverwalk Level opening!

  • Returning books? The upper level book drop will be closed May 23. The new Riverwalk level book drop will open on May 29. No fines will be incurred during the period that the Library is closed, May 23-June 3.

  • No book donations are being accepted while the Library is closed from May 23-June 3.

  • "Library Transformation: Phase One Nearly Done;" blog post by Dan Woog's 06880.

  • From Wednesday, May 23 through Sunday, June 3, the Library will be closed to move into the newly renovated Riverwalk Level/Interim Library. From Wednesday, May 23 through Sunday, June 3, the Library will be closed to move into the newly renovated Riverwalk Level/Interim Library. Beginning Monday, May14, the adult and teen book collection will be temporarily unavailable while it is being installed in the Interim Library. The audio/visual collection, the Children’s collection, new releases and display items will continue to be available.

  • The completion of this first phase of construction will culminate in a special opening reception Monday, June 4. 

  • Due to work being done for the Transformation Project, the Library's AC will be shut off until the move to the Riverwalk Level on June 4.

  • Map of Interim Phase, Satellite Locations and Parking

  • As of April 16, 2018, The elevator will be out-of-service until the completion of the Transformation Project. For those with strollers who are going to the Children's Library, you may leave them in the middle of the Great Hall art exhibit pillars.

  • Photos by Dave Matlow on westportnow on 12/12: Gallery: Update on Library’s Transformation Project

  • Search Local History Files Through the Westport Historical Society.

  • Map of Parking available at the Library, Transformation Project, Phase 1.

  • Westport Library and First County Bank Announce Mutual Support of Library’s Transformation Project

  • Stairwells to lower Riverwalk level closed off.

  • For questions regarding the Transformation Project, please contact
    Paul Mazzaccaro at pmazzaccaro@westportlibrary.org.

  • Read about the $1M gift that the Library received for the Transformation Project.  

  • Read about the Library's collaboration with the Westport Historical Society for historical files collection ahead of and during construction. 

  • Read the Library's plan for art and installations ahead of construction.

  • The audio/visual collection has moved and is now on the Main Level.

  • Sheffer Reading Room is re-configured with extra tables and chairs to accommodate more people for a quiet reading and working space.

  • Most large programs are now in the Large Reading Room. Be sure to check westportlibrary.org for up-to-date program information and locations.

  • The Business Reading room is closed to patrons and is now a book-sorting area in support of our Book Sales.

  • Most magazines are in the Sheffer Reading Room. Newspapers are in the Great Hall.

Library Breaks Ground on Major Renovation

WESTPORT — When five-year-old Julian Hinojos got to the Westport Library’s Groundbreaking Ceremony to kick off its Transformation Project, he wasn’t interested in the yellow hard hats, shovels or buckets of dirt to symbolize the project’s start. In fact at the event, Julian kept asking his mother, Hilary Nordholm, if they could go to the kid’s room to pick out a book.

 

Letter: Library thankful for community support

To the Editor:

On Tuesday Jan. 10, the Westport Representative Town Meeting unanimously approved an allocation of $5 million in town funding to be used toward the Westport Library Transformation Project. I am writing today on behalf of the Westport Library Board of Directors, staff, volunteers and countless supporters to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the entire Westport community for its continued, strident support of our organization and the exciting transformation ahead.