DESIGNS FOR THE NEW MARY D. PRETLOW ANCHOR BRANCH LIBRARY UNVEILED: LEARN WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR NORFOLK PUBLIC LIBRARY
Norfolk, VA (October 6, 2004) - Norfolk Public Library and the City of Norfolk recently unveiled renderings and floor designs for the new Mary D. Pretlow Anchor Branch Library. Construction for this new 30,000 square foot library will begin in the fall of 2005. The new building will open in April of 2007 at the branch's current location on Granby Street. The new Pretlow Branch Anchor Library will feature:The Library will feature two distinct areas for Norfolk youths. The teen library and activity center, which will be known as the Teen Zone, will be a special area just for teens. It will feature 20 computers, a big screen television, and a music listening center. "I can't wait to use this center," says one excited teen patron. "I will travel across town to go there," he continues.
The 10,000 square foot children's library and early childhood learning center will be located on the second floor. This children's area will be unlike any other children's library in Norfolk. It will have 20 children computers, a baby toddler playscape, and developmentally appropriate toys and activities for kids from birth through 10 years-old. It will also offer a large programming room for children.
"We are building a library that will meet the needs of Norfolk residents today and tomorrow. This new design increases the space designated for the children's area, providing the tools needed for the library to help parents prepare their children to enter school ready to read," says Norman Maas, the Director of Norfolk Public Library. Building the new Pretlow Branch Library is the first step in fulfilling the goals and objectives of a 1998 study prepared by Providence Associates. This study called for the development of four new anchor branches and a new downtown Central Library to meet the needs of residents and improve NPL's service.
The lead architect, Ed Lazaron, from Design Collaborative, Chris Smith from the City of Norfolk Public Works Department, and Ray Jennings of Ray Jennings Interior Design have worked on this project for 3 years. These three gentlemen along with Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas and Company, and Siska/Aurand Landscape Architects worked together to develop these plans based on information gathered from the public, city officials, and NPL staff.
Pretlow Branch Library will relocate to a temporary location in April 2005. The temporary library will be located at 120 Balview Avenue. "This location allows us to provide full service during the construction period," says Yvonne Bradley-Hilliard, Public Services Administrator for Norfolk Public Library. The temporary site offers space for a meeting room and plenty of parking. Operating hours, programming, and computer availability will remain the same. Library service for Ocean View residents will be interrupted for only 2 weeks during the transition from the current location to the temporary building.
As the library celebrates 100 years of free service, the staff is excited about unveiling their plans for the new library and the future. Prior to 1904 patrons using libraries in Norfolk had to pay a fee. In 1904 Norfolk Public Library opened a free library on Freemason Street making NPL the first and oldest free library in Virginia. This year NPL celebrates 100 years of free service with special programs. For a listing of these programs and to view the Anchor Branch Library's renderings and floor plans, visit Norfolk Public Library's web site, www.npl.lib.va.us.