Kyle Cox's vision of what a library should be is starting to take root at the 6,000-square-foot west Pasco branch of the Mid-Columbia Libraries.
He wanted the new branch at Road 76 and Wrigley Drive to reflect the sense of wonder he felt during library visits as a child and the first parts of the whimsical forest decor are being installed this week.
"A library is not a warehouse of books," said Cox, executive director of the district. "Libraries are a place that is magical. You can learn what you want. ... It's a temple of knowledge."
Ares Corp., with an office in Richland, has managed the decorating project, and tapped Studio Y Creations in Calgary, Alberta, to design and fabricate the three large trees and a toadstool for little readers to share with a bookworm.
The main tree will serve as a gathering place for story time, and the
children's area features moveable bookshelves to allow layout flexibility.
Cox said flexibility in a relatively small space is key to a sustainable library as materials becomes increasingly digitized.
The design also reflects feedback gathered from residents with an emphasis on convenient features like the drive-up window, said Kate Holloway, marketing director.
Still to be added are a 30-by-13-foot mural by Michelle Allgaier of Chell Design, a flying books feature designed by Diana Williams of The Sagewood Group and Terri Butz of Casual Elegance Decorating Solutions and inspirational quotes about reading and books by celebrities and authors designed by Cox.
It's all to be done in time for a grand opening celebration featuring food and entertainment from 10 a.m. to
5 p.m. April 20.
Kai-Huei Yau: 585-7205; firstname.lastname@example.org
Take a look around the inside of the West Pasco Branch of the Mid-Columbia Libraries on March 13, 2013.