Manatee Central Library to reopen May 11

MANATEE -- After three months of renovation, the Manatee County Central Library will reopen Monday.

"We're very excited to be open again and I think it's going to be a great asset for the community," said Manatee County Neighborhood Services Department Director Cheri Coryea early Tuesday evening.

The county library system is a subdivision of the Neighborhood Services Department.

Doors will open at 10 a.m. May 11 at the library, 1301 Barcarrota Blvd. in downtown Bradenton, according to a press release from Manatee County information outreach manager Nick Azzara.

The central library is the first county facility connected to Manatee County's new downtown chiller plant, which will bring significant long-term energy savings to buildings in downtown Bradenton, according to the release.

"We're looking forward to seeing the outcome of the cost savings for that being on the new chiller plant," Coryea said.

Some additions in the newly renovated library include coffee bar-style charging sta

tions and a new creative lab for library users with digital equipment for creating audiovisual productions.

"We have a new business incubator, which is a room for startups and businesses to meet and collaborate," said library services manager Ava Ehde in a written statement. "There's also a new break room/demonstration kitchen, five new study rooms and a brand new teen area that features high-top tables and allows a collaborative work area."

Library patrons will enter a brighter space thanks to new lighting.

"For folks that are in the library, that makes a big difference," Coryea said.

Another change includes separation of adult services from children and youth services. Adult services will be on the first floor and children and youth services have been moved to the second floor.

In addition, a new countywide operating system expected to improve the way patrons access library materials will be available this fall.

Coryea said one of the central library's biggest goals is attracting more teenagers and youth.

With the reopening, Coryea said she hopes "we will have a bigger variety of folks that we're able to serve."

Amaris Castillo, law enforcement/island reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. Follow her on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.