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Coupeville Library opens at Au Sable July 8

For the next six to nine months, Coupeville residents will have to look outside of town for library services..

The Coupeville Library’s location is scheduled to close Tuesday, July 7, at 3 p.m. so construction workers can start work on expanding and modernizing the library building located on Alexander Street.

Once the library closes, workers will move part of the library collection to the Au Sable Institute, which can be found at 180 Parker Rd. The nonprofit Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies provides college-level courses that transfer to more than 50 academic institutions, according to the Au Sable Web site.

The 550-square-foot building that will be the library’s temporary home won’t have the space that the current 2,600-square-foot building enjoys.

Coupeville Librarian Leslie Franzen said staff explored 18 other places that included rental homes, commercial space and leasing a construction trailer, but those places didn’t meet the library’s needs. Alternative options weren’t suitable because it either didn’t have enough parking or the rent was too expensive.

The Friends of the Coupeville Library is chipping in the $400-a-month rent for the space at Au Sable. Franzen said money for a temporary location wasn’t written into the renovation project but members of the Friends felt there was a need for a library during the construction project.

She added that the rent for the Au Sable Institute is half of what would have been paid for a commercial space.

Rebecca Loney, facilities manager for Sno-Isle Libraries, said the temporary space will have enough room to store “holds” by patrons, a couple of computers and a few other popular items. The majority of the Coupeville Library collection will remain in storage at the library district service center in Marysville. She said Coupeville’s library collection will be updated while it’s in storage.

Customers can place materials on hold and pick up and return library materials at Au Sable. For people needing a place to sit, Loney recommended going to locations in Freeland, Oak Harbor or Langley.

Because the building at the Au Sable Institute had been used as a library in the past, Loney said no additional upgrades needed to be made to the building before the move.

Construction for the library expansion, which is funded by a $2.3 million bond voters approved in 2008, should last between six and nine months. The renovated building will be 3,400 square feet larger and will feature a meeting room and bookstore-like atmosphere.

A groundbreaking for the expansion is scheduled Saturday, July 11, at 10 a.m. The public is invited to attend.

Book your trip

The Coupeville Library will operate from the Au Sable Institute beginning Wednesday, July 8. The Au Sable Institute is located at 180 Parker Rd. Library hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

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