PUTNAM — Putnam County Library Director Bobbie Morgan has been busy of late. Morgan hired Susan Devlin, a Putnam resident to work in the Condit branch of the PC Library District. Both women have been giving the library an overhaul.
“It’s very exciting for me to see it actually looking like a library,” Devlin said.
What she is referring to is the extensive cleaning and rearranging of rooms in the historic Condit House which has served the community most recently as a library. Morgan and Devlin have moved books from room to room, brought in new shelves — which Morgan has stained — to put the books on.
“She (Morgan) has made it into a nice area and a comfortable spot for people to come,” Devlin said.
“What we have tried to do is match the shelving to the space. Where before you had a shelving unit and then there would be 4 inches here and 4 inches there. Now we have shelving units to fill the wall space, so we are utilizing the space a bit better.”
Saving space has opened up window areas to let more natural light in. This simple idea has given the Condit Library a warm and friendly look in each room. There is now a room dedicated to children’s books and DVDs; a room with a table for computer access and the adult DVDs and books on tape; a fiction room and a non-fiction room. Each room takes the antique furniture like the comfortable chairs and makes a reading area for patrons. There also is a table with chairs in every room for those who want to research and work on projects.
“We have these beautiful pieces (furniture), and we want people to be able to see them,” said Morgan. “There’s a lot of talk about the furniture at the Condit house. So we had a computer desk in the main room, and we took it out and put in the post office desk — just little things like that so they are not clumped, and they are in places where they can be highlighted and people can see them.”
Morgan received a great deal on the new shelves going into the Condit Library.
“I was at a presentation by the Jill Rodriguez from the Bensenville library,” she said. “She was remodeling, and she said she had wooden shelving to donate. These were all double sided shelves, and she had 10 units. She asked for a small donation, so I gave her $50 for the entire set. Each one of those would be worth $800 to $1,000 each if purchased new. They are solid oak and are beautiful shelves.”
One of the next goals for Morgan is to work on grants to help make the Condit Library handicapped accessible. She wants to work closely with the township to make sure the historic integrity of the building is maintained.
The Putnam County Library, Condit branch, will host an open house from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 12 to share the many changes and updates with the community.