Library prepares to reopen after $3.7 million renovation

The Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library is preparing to open back to the public on Monday, November 15, 2021 after a $3.7 million renovation.

The renovation was approved in August 2019 by Alpena County voters who supported the Library’s property tax renewal. The complete renovation on the building began in September 2020, and over the last year, the Library has been operating out of a temporary location at Bear Pointe Plaza.

Some of the updates include an open floor plan on the first story, a new elevator and relocated staircase, a new entrance on Park Place, improved climate control, and asbestos removal throughout the building. The renovation also included moving the children’s section upstairs and adding new teen spaces, study rooms, and a children’s computer lab. The adult books and computers are note entirely located on the first floor of the building.

The building, located at 211 N. First Ave., originally opened to the public on January 21, 1974. Located across from City Hall, the $401,684 building included 18,000 square feet of space and improved facilities to provide better library services to the Alpena area community. In 1978, the second story was added as functional library space.

Before the construction of the Library’s current location on First Avenue, the Alpena County Library was located in a building on Second Avenue. After the building was demolished a new road– Carter Street– was constructed. You can see that building in the below photo from 1970 (from the Alpena News Collection).

The Library services the entire Alpena County region and offers extensive services to the community, including educational programming for all ages, computer and literacy classes, GED tutoring, and teen and adult book clubs. The library also houses an extensive collection of local historical archives and photographs, as well as the Thunder Bay Research Collection, one of the largest collections of shipping and maritime archives across the Great Lakes.

Through funds received from the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan and the Friends of the Alpena Library, the library also has installed a smart locker system outside of the building which will continue to allow contactless pick-up of library materials. A smart locker system located outside of the Library building will allow patrons to obtain their materials on a schedule that is convenient for them. Materials holds may be placed via virtual catalogs or by phoning their service desk at (989) 356-6188.

We are so excited to have the library re-open in our downtown. Make sure to stop by and check out the newly renovated space on Monday, November 15, 2021!

Located in downtown Alpena, the Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library was established in 1967 as a county library. Dedicated to serving as a regional gathering place for learning and quality cultural experiences, the Library also acts as a primary resource for historical research, enrichment opportunities, and educational support. The Library is committed to building a reading community while providing quality humanities programming unique to this area of the state. You can learn more about their services and programming here.

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