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Developing Vision For New Northwest Oklahoma City Library

North West Library ConsultantsThe dream of modern, innovative and inviting library service for northwest Oklahoma City, first discussed in the mid-1970s, is one step closer to coming true.

Last week, architectural firm of LWPB Architecture of Oklahoma City and their consultant Richärd+Bauer of Phoenix, conducted a design workshop for the new Northwest Oklahoma City Library.  This process involved numerous discussions and brainstorming sessions to learn both community needs & operational requirements for the new library.  These meetings included the Metropolitan Library System staff, staff from the City of Oklahoma City and other stakeholders. The week culminated with a presentation on June 20, at which time these ideas, along with earlier suggestions received from the public, came together.

The new Northwest Library, scheduled to be completed in late 2010, will be located on NW 122nd, just east of MacArthur.  The 35,000 square foot library will be constructed for a cost of $8.1 million, the funds coming from successful City bond elections in 2000 and 2008.  The building will be owned by the City of Oklahoma City and furnished, staffed and operated by the Metropolitan Library System.

The library system held a public meeting in late 2007 for the citizens of northwest Oklahoma City to share their ideas about what they wanted in a new library.  The design of the new library blends these ideas with architectural and design elements that reinforce the culture of Oklahoma.

The library will have shelf space for 156,000 items, including books, magazines, newspapers, CDs, DVDs, and audio books.  There will be meeting rooms, large spaces for children and teens, study areas and over 50 public access computer stations.  The building will also be Wi-Fi compatible for wireless Internet access. 

“People asked for a sustainable building with lots of natural light and open spaces,” Donna Morris, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Library System said, “and we’re giving them something that is warm and inviting with inside elements that can be reconfigured for long term use.”

Much is still to be developed, Morris added.  LWPB Architecture, working with the award-winning library architecture consultants Richärd+Bauer, will be fine-tuning the information developed during the design workshop.   A preliminary design will be presented in late July 2008. 

“We’ve worked on several successful projects with the library system,” said City of Oklahoma City Contract Administrator Harold Skidmore, “so I’m excited to work together again to give the citizens of northwest Oklahoma City a new library they can be proud of and will want to use for years to come.”

The Metropolitan Library System of Oklahoma County includes 12 libraries and five extension libraries.  Libraries include Belle Isle, Capitol Hill, Ralph Ellison, Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library and Southern Oaks in Oklahoma City, as well as Bethany, Choctaw, Del City, Edmond, Midwest City, Village and Warr Acres.  Extensions are located in the communities of Harrah, Jones, Luther and Nicoma Park and include Wright Library in Oklahoma City.  You can also reach us at www.metrolibrary.org