Proposed renovations fresh look for library

Published on Monday, 3 March 2014 00:05 - Written by Kelly Gooch,


The Tyler Public Library continues to expand its program offerings and prepare for renovations that are expected later this year.

Among the proposed renovation areas are the children’s reading area and stacks, Taylor Auditorium, bathrooms on the first and third floors, “as well as installing exterior signage and enclosing the covered patio on the east side of the building,” according to a news release.

City Librarian Mary Vernau has said the library building is more than 30 years old, and the renovations will provide a fresh look. She said the restrooms at the front of the library will have a different appearance, and vending machines will be moved so there is more room at the auditorium entrance.

The children’s area will have a “cottage front,” she said.

“I think it’s really cute. It sets the children’s story room apart and makes it very inviting for children to go in and hear a story,” she added.

Ms. Vernau said panels designed to help children with early literacy skills also are part of the plans.

In Taylor Auditorium, she said ceiling panels, along with a new sound system, are going to be installed, which should improve sound.

On the outside, she said she is excited about signage that will go on the library.

Additionally, she has said she is excited that a screened-in reading porch will be created.

“It will offer reading space for people to enjoy when the weather’s nicest,” Ms. Vernau said in January.

Aside from the planned renovations, the library also has added programming.

That includes partnering with the Tyler Together Race Relations Forum to offer a monthly cultural diversity gathering, according to a news release.

Ms. Vernau said attendees of all backgrounds and races are able to meet each other and learn about different cultures.

Another program at the library is 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten.

The purpose of the program is to encourage parents to read with their children, and participants can track their progress, Ms. Vernau said.

“Even if it’s something that a family hasn’t regularly been doing, it’s definitely possible. It’s not too far reaching of a goal,” said Linda Gray, youth services librarian at the Tyler Public Library.

Ms. Vernau said the library also is trying to do more outreach in schools and get more children signed up for library cards.

For more information about the library and its programs, call 903-593-7323. Information is also available at