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Creating space: Children’s library work will add rolling shelves

After months of preparation, work has started to improve the lower level children’s area of Alfred Dickey Library in Jamestown.

The lower level children’s section of the library closed on Monday for a week of work that is mostly about creating more flexible use space for reading, technology and activities, said Joe Rector, executive director of the James River Valley Library System. Until now the room occupation limit was about 30 kids and it got very crowded, he said.

“Were very committed to opening access to the children’s library,” Rector said. “What we're doing is opening up the place for the children so that they can hang out, sit and read books, sit and study, sit at the computers and enjoy the library for what it is without feeling so crowded.”

Making space is possible by removing and rearranging items within the existing space, he said. The circulation desk and computer stations will move along with installing new electrical wiring and modifications to improve internet access, Rector said. New portable bookshelves will be coming in a couple of months to make it possible to create more space when needed, he said.

“We’ll be able to roll a lot of our books out of the way for programing,” Rector said.

New lighting and technology were already installed in the children’s library two years ago, he said.

The children’s library should reopen Monday, Rector said. But the entire Alfred Dickey Library will close indefinitely on May 29 to start the next phase of the $502,000 Centennial Initiative.

“We're looking forward to having this project done,” Rector said. “We’re sorry that it will create a bit of inconvenience.”

Alfred Dickey Library turns 100 years old in 2019. The work to preserve the historic integrity of the building while also conforming with 21st-century library needs is expected to keep the library closed for two months, Rector said.

The work will start with waterproofing the foundation and landscaping, he said. The interior work will include painting and carpeting, new shelving, carpet and painting throughout the library, he said.

“When the foundation is exposed we will have an engineer come look at it to make sure everything is sound,” Rector said. “After the waterproofing we will put in sump pumps and drain tiling.”

The new Louis L'amour display will be on the north wall of the periodical room, he said. Every effort will be made to have the display completed by the centennial celebration, he said.

The Stutsman County Library will remain open at 910 5th St. SE. The interim hours will expand to 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

The bookmobile will provide service in the vicinity of Alfred Dickey Public Library on selected days in June and July. Visit for a daily schedule.