Frequently Asked Questions
Select a Question Below to See the Answer.
The City of Petersburg is experiencing immense growth through the expansion of Fort Lee, and a burgeoning economic expansion of businesses both small and large. Higher standards for academic achievement mandated by federal statutes warrant increased resources for youth that support the curriculum set forth in our schools, including technology, expanded reading collections and enrichment programs. A new library facility will play a pivotal role in bringing the school system to flagship status, preserving and promoting the rich history and legacy of our city through a platform that links our community to the global society by serving as “A Gateway to the World!”
Q. What will happen with the current William R. McKenney Branch of the Petersburg Public Library System at 137 S. Sycamore Street once the new headquarters opens?
A study is underway to use the William R. McKenney Branch as an archival facility. Important records that are now scattered throughout the community will be collected, accessioned, and preserved in the archives. The building will open to the public.
The Petersburg Public Library is an important and visible symbol of education and community history in Petersburg, which makes it important for it to be located in a visible, highly trafficked area downtown. Many see the new library as a downtown anchor and an attraction that will draw many people to the area. In addition, keeping the library downtown provides visitors convenient access to public transportation, as well as stores, restaurants and entertainment.
The library offers something for everyone who lives in and around Petersburg:
- Students benefit from comprehensive research and study capabilities, access to practice tests, academic support and a wide range of recreational reading.
- Preschoolers learn to love books and reading.
- Seniors enjoy access to, and utilization of, technology through classes including web-based books, newspapers and magazines, genealogical research capability and on-line life resource tools.
- Educators count on the library for resources to enhance and actively support school curriculum and encourage students to become lifelong learners.
- Business people use entrepreneurial research resources, on-line investing tools and technology classes.
- Students, adults and seniors take advantage of a wide variety of volunteer and service opportunities.
The community at large benefits from an asset that provides access to information, as well as educational and cultural opportunities, regardless of means. As an added attraction to the downtown community, the library also helps build the local economy.
Enteros Design, P.C., located here in Petersburg, has been selected. Enteros Design is a full-service architecture firm with a wide range of commercial and residential experience that spans eight states and the District of Colombia.
The board has also approved Enteros Design to do schematic design of the building’s interior.
To learn more about Enteros Design, please visit their website at: www.enterosdesign.com.
There will be clearly defined areas and additional space for: technology workstations, training, research and use; locations with wireless access; quiet study areas; young adult activities; and children’s programs. The new design includes improved lighting and technology resources, more shelf space for book and media collections, improved access, community rooms, and upgraded bathrooms. There will also be a new parking lot and safety enhancements.
Yes. Everyone who visits the library will enjoy total accessibility into and throughout the facility. The new construction will be completed according to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards, making the entire library barrier-free, with wide aisles and elevators to upper and lower floors, enabling everyone to benefit from all that the library offers. Visitors with wheelchairs, walkers and baby strollers will find the library fully accessible and comfortable.
The name will change from the William R. McKenney Branch, but the final name has yet to be determined.
Yes. The library will be open a minimum of four nights per week and also open on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm.
Yes. The new library will offer a café serving a variety of beverages along with pastries and other items. In addition, a drive-thru service will be available to members for easy pick-ups, returns and specialized services.
No. Libraries will continue to serve their communities as repositories of local, national and world history, access points to information in all manner of formats, resources for entertainment and recreation, gateways to local, national and world art and culture and as community centers. Libraries are ever evolving and changing to accommodate new means of accessing information and providing that access to everyone in their communities regardless of means. Since the first public access computers were installed in libraries in the 1980s, the public’s utilization of and demand for access to technology and high-tech operational systems has increased. This trend continues today. People now are borrowing more books for leisure and research than ever, but they depend on online databases for intensive research information that would quickly be outdated in print format. Libraries are leading the way in bringing advanced data to the public. Many of these resources are expensive and not available free on the Internet. Beyond access, public libraries, both locally and nationally, continue to provide instruction on how to make the best use of the Internet as well as advanced instruction on how to use specialized databases or to search for specific information. Libraries also play a pivotal role in evaluating the Web and bringing order to it.