Auburn Library finds a temporary home

Jackie and Brent Callendar peruse the temporary library, located near the main library that is undergoing renovation.  - Shawn Skager/Auburn Reporter
Jackie and Brent Callendar peruse the temporary library, located near the main library that is undergoing renovation.
— image credit: Shawn Skager/Auburn Reporter

While the popular Auburn Library undergoes a yearlong renovation, a temporary downsized home has been established next door to serve patrons.

Local library staff officially completed the move last Friday, opening the doors to its interim spot, the former Herr Cabinets building, across the parking lot from the main library at 1140 Auburn Way S.

The temporary library will continue to offer basic services. Patrons can place and pick up book orders and holds or browse a limited inventory of books and DVDs for children and adults.

"We have a selection of children's picture books, series books and some chapter books," said children's librarian Terry Hendershott. "We've taken our DVD collection over, too. We're limited in the number of books we have at this time. This is mainly a holds-pickup place, so that's available for people. We have a large space for that."

The temporary library will accommodate other age groups.

"We'll have new paperbacks available and a select number of newspapers and magazines," librarian Shawn Crosby said. "And we'll continue to have our adult reading group here through the summer."

The library soon will have a limited number of Internet-access computers available to the public.

"They should be sometime after June," Hendershott added. "And we're relying on the City of Auburn for WiFi access, so laptop access is not available right now."

Many of the libraries children's programs will continue, including the summer reading programs at the Les Gove Multipurpose Building.

"It is going to be limited in size," Hendershott said. "And we will be adding our story times here in the temporary building."

Patrons are advised to use the King County Library System's neighboring libraries for any service that is unavailable at Auburn's temporary location.

"To the south, we have Algona-Pacific and Muckleshoot," Crosby said. "But those have limited space and parking, so we are encouraging people to use Kent and Covington."

In 2004, King County residents supported a $172 million capital bond issue to pay for the Auburn Library project among other

library expansions and renovations.

"People have been generally very happy when they see the renovation to the library," Hendershott said. "We're really happy to be starting on expanding the library. Auburn has outgrown what we can offer."

The expansion will add 5,000 square feet to the library, including:

• An expanded children's area.

• A new meeting room in the northeast corner of the addition, serving as a quiet space when it is not a meeting room.

• The relocation of bathrooms to the west side of the building and an expanded entrance way and media area in the space the bathrooms currently occupy.

• A quiet study area that will significantly increase the amount of seating space.

• An automated material handling system that lets patrons check in their books and get a receipt for them.

• Additional spaces for laptops and additional laptops for check out.

For Jackie and Brent Callendar, who were on hand at the interim library to pick up some books, the temporary space is adequate. But they are looking forward to the completion of the renovation.

"I'll be glad when they're finished," Jackie Callendar said. "Sometimes I like to go in and browse around."

"We don't come in and use the computers, just books, so this is fine," Brent Callendar said.

For more information, please visit or contact Steven Bailey or Bette Anderson at 253-931-3018.

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