Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the opening of a brand new library. The library (appropriately called the Orange Branch) is located in Orange Township, a fast growing community nestled on the southern edge of the equally fast growing Delaware County.
The opening of the Orange Branch represents not just the culmination of a 12 month construction cycle, but also years of planning and preparation, including and perhaps most importantly the Delaware County District Library's successful 2009 levy campaign. While the economy has been slow to recover (and Ohio has been particularly hard hit), it's heartening to see that the vast majority of Ohio communities are willing to support libraries even as State funding for libraries is reduced.
The Orange Branch itself is one that all stakeholders can be proud of. It represents the best of what libraries offer, both as place to learn and as a place to gather. Its robust collection of books, AV materials, and computer workstations are complemented by a community meeting room, numerous study rooms, and inviting spaces to relax or work (The fireplace area is particularly nice). The high, timbered ceiling gives the space a sense of importance, while the warm palette and natural textures keep it all very cozy and inviting.
The Orange Branch will be a great resource for the southern Delaware County community. Not only that, it represents a chance for all central Ohioans to see how green building techniques play out in a new library. Features like rain chains and outdoor gardens (to reduce run-off), chilled beam HVAC systems, and regional building materials make the Orange Branch not just attractive, but also practical.
Congratulations to everyone who helped make the Orange Branch a reality. For more information (and for much better pictures than the ones I took), visit the Delaware County District Library's website and their Faceboook Page.