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Temporary library outpost opens Monday
carrying books
Jennifer King, Young Adult/Marketing librarian at the Great Bend Public Library, carries container of books and other supplies to the librarys temporary outpost, Wednesday afternoon. Also pictured is Kem Lujan, circulation clerk. The library is closed for renovation, but the temporary location at 3407 10th St. will open Monday. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

     With renovation at the Great Bend Public Library underway, staff are busy moving books and other essentials to the temporary outpost at 3407 10th St.
     The temporary location next to AT&T, in the former Blockbuster video store, will open Monday. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays. The temporary site is expected to be in use through April.

     The main library at 1409 Williams St. has been closed since Jan. 22 while workers install a geothermal heating and air conditioning system.
     Only a few books were shelved at the temporary site on Monday, but the outline of a public library was beginning to take shape. There were lounge chairs and racks that will hold daily newspapers, and a small bookcase for the Friends of the Library store, where used books are sold. The paperback swap will also make the move.

     Information Technology employee Maribeth Shafer said 20 computers were being set up, including six for public use. The temporary location will also be an Internet hotspot, so people will be able to use their own tablets and other electronic devices there.
     Librarian Jennifer King and other staff members delivered more boxes of books and office supplies on Wednesday. King said the library will continue to offer virtually all of its regular services at the outpost, with the exception of showing movies. Teen Movie Mondays, After School Movies and Adults Night Out Movies have all been discontinued until the 1409 Williams site reopens, she said. Game nights for playing Magic the Gathering are also on hiatus.
There will still be a reference desk and a children’s area at the temporary site. A multipurpose area will be used for story time and adult and teen activities. “The puzzle table is even making its way over here,” King said.

     However, there’s no way the entire collection can be moved to the temporary site.
     “It is a browsing collection,” King said of the books on display. “We can’t house it all here.” People will be able to use the online catalog, Pathfinder, to find books and movies they want to borrow. Library staff will check the requests three or four times a day, and notify patrons by email when they are ready to check out.

     Earlier this month, the library offered several classes on how to use the online catalog. People can find Pathfinder on the GPBL webiste, They will need a library card and a password to use it. Both will be available at the temporary site once it reopens. For those who missed the classes, there is a tutorial on the website or one-on-one instruction with a library employee will be available.
     The site at 1409 Williams St. also houses the Central Kansas Library System, which supports library services in 17 counties, covering 13,988 square miles with a total population of 187,750. Services include Talking Books and Rotating Books to area libraries. CKLS staff are also moving to the temporary site or working out of their homes for now.

     King said setting up a temporary site has brought a new awareness of all the library has to offer, while presenting some logistical challenges. “It’s certainly making everyone think outside of the box,” she said