The Cameron Village Regional Library will close Aug. 1 for two months while crews renovate the children’s area, replace more than 50 public computers and make other upgrades.
Wake County is spending about $470,000 to make improvements at the site, which is the largest branch in the library system.
The goal is to offer the library’s roughly 7,000 weekly patrons inviting spaces to sit and read next to the windows, charge their electronic devices and interact with others, said Robert Lambert, the library’s manager.
“We want people to actually come in and enjoy the building itself as a resource,” he said.
Wake spent $4 million in 2006 to renovate the Cameron Village Regional Library, which opened during the 1980s. During the 18-month project, workers doubled the library’s space and brightened up the interior with light wood accents, new windows and airy spaces.
A decade later, library officials say the branch needs new carpet, paint and furniture, along with some space adjustments to accommodate changing needs.
Workers will remove a seldom-used stage area in the children’s room that will allow for bigger groups and more interaction, said librarian Erik Sugg, who hosts a popular rock ’n’ roll story time.
“It’s not the traditional sit-down-and-be-quiet-while-I-tell-you-a-story thing anymore,” he said. “We’re a lot more high energy now.”
Wake typically renovates its regional libraries every 10 to 12 years, said Mark Forestieri, director of facilities design and construction. Community libraries usually get updates every 15 years.
This year, the Eva Perry Regional Library in Apex will get a new roof, Forestieri said.
The Cameron Village library is expected to reopen in early October. Patrons are encouraged to visit other library branches during the closure. The closest branches are the Athens Drive Community Library and the Richard B. Harrison Community Library on New Bern Avenue.
Nearly 35 full-time and part-time employees of the Cameron Village library will be assigned to other branches, Lambert said.
On a recent afternoon, James O’Meara of Raleigh sat underneath the stairs of the library while he played Pokemon Go, the popular mobile-app game. He said he came to the library to charge his phone and use the wireless internet.
The visit was productive for O’Meara, who said he picked up a rare Pokemon.
“I was just sitting here, and boom, an Abra,” he said.
O’Meara is a typical modern library user, Lambert said. And the Cameron Village library is trying to keep up.
“We’re not just books anymore,” Lambert said. “It’s a place where people come and interact.”
Chris Cioffi, 919-829-4802, @ReporterCioffi