"We thank our customers for their patience as we renovate the Aberdeen Library," said Mary Hastler, CEO of Harford County Public Library, in a prepared statement. "The renovations will make the Aberdeen Library an even better place for our customers to learn and explore. Those who typically use the Aberdeen Library are invited to visit any of the other branches and to use the many resources available on HCPLonline.org."
Phase one of the renovation project will begin in the adult department with the demolition of floor bulkheads, new carpeting, shelving replacement and new furnishings. This phase of the project is happening ahead of schedule, Hastler said in an interview.
“We were able to move up the start of the project and are really fortunate to be able to do that,” she said.
Built in 1975, the Aberdeen Library has an adult wing on the right of the main entrance and a children’s department on the right side. Hastler said this will allow contractors to cordon off the adult wing during construction and allow the children’s wing to remain operational.
Hastler said because the project was moved up, new furnishings for the adult department won’t be ready until later this year, so the old ones will be in use after the library reopens June 17. “We didn’t want to delay the demolition of the bulkheads and the painting,” she said.
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In the fall, after the summer reading program is completed and work on the renovation project at the Abingdon branch is finished, renovations will begin on Aberdeen’s children’s wing to include an outdoor story garden, first of its kind among Harford County Public Library branches.
“We’ve wanted to do one for quite some time, especially in the Aberdeen area,” Hastler said. Once completed, the garden will host outdoor story times, performances and other interactive events.
“It should be really nice to have for that branch,” Hastler said.
Renovations for the adult side of the library will cost about $88,000 and the children’s portion will cost about $444,000, she said. The adult section renovations are being funded with money that was carried over from previous fiscal years that the library has been saving up, Hastler said.
For the children’s project, the library is also using grant funding from BGE and donations from the Aberdeen Friends of the Library group and the Morris A. Mechanic Foundation, which Hastler said has “been very generous supporting this type of project.”
Aberdeen is the third busiest branch in the library system, behind Bel Air and Abingdon, in terms of walk-ins and circulation. There were about 225,000 walk-ins and 279,000 items borrowed from the branch from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018, which serves a population of nearly 25,000, Hastler said.
Other library projects
The Abingdon Library has been closed since February for a $1.2 million renovation. As of now, Hastler said, it remains on track to reopen in August.