Island Branch library set to reopen Thursday after renovations

HOLMES BEACH – The Island Branch Library will reopen to the public on Thursday. is slated for ribbon-cutting and open house ceremonies Wednesday after a six-month renovation.

A ribbon cutting and open house were scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. The library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, opens to the public at 9 a.m. Thursday.

The $238,703 renovation project includes reconfigured book shelves, new ceiling tiles, a new heating, and air-conditioning system, new lighting, new carpeting, renovated restrooms, fresh paint indoors and outdoors, new Florida-friendly landscaping, irrigation repairs, according to Nick Azzara, the county information outreach coordinator.

A $50,000 contribution from the Friends of the Island Library paid for a new checkout counter and book drop area, he said.

“The grand reopening of the Island Library is just in time for the 30-year anniversary of the building,” said Neighborhood Services Director Cheri Coryea, whose department oversees Manatee’s six local branches. “My favorite new feature is the lighting, a request of the original patrons. It’s made a magnificent difference.”

The library was originally built in 1982, and is now visited by more than 100,000 patrons each year, Azzara said. The renovation project is being completed on time and on budget, he said.

“We’ve made some vital improvements and restored an Island gem,” said Ava Ehde, library services manager.