SPRINGFIELD, Mo. The newly renovated Schweitzer Brentwood Library opened to a big crowd over the weekend, excited to see the changes made to one of Springfield's oldest library buildings.
"It was built in 1971, that was a long time ago, really needed some updating and thanks to the community, we were able to do that," said Regina Greer-Cooper, Executive Director of the Springfield Greene County Library District.
Previously, the building had dim lighting and used an inefficient boiler that needed its own room. The open space inside also created a lot of noise. Now, the library is LEED certified and energy efficient.
It's also more technology friendly, with a computer bar, personal work stations and more computers.
"You enter the library, you know where to go, how to use it and the whole environment through new material and colors is so much more friendly and welcoming," said Maurizio Sabini, library patron.
The building is also bigger, adding a 1500 square foot reading room added to the front. That also creates space for conference rooms and designated areas for teenagers and kids.
"I think that it's going to be a building that is going to be well used and the people who are using it are going to enjoy every inch of it," Greer-Cooper said.
The Brentwood Branch has always had a strong following of patrons who use and love the library, so it was important to keep it up-to-date.
"The district in general is proof we're not going away, we're not going anywhere," said Branch Manager Jeana Gockley. "We might change the services that we offer and how we offer those services, but the number one thing we do in Springfield Greene County is just customer service. And that will keep people coming back to your library every single time."
The Sabini already knows the library will be a place where they will spend much of their time.
"The librarians, they're so committed and they're so energetic and they've given us so many ideas and then we browse, and this is going to make it so much easier to make choices," said Meg Sabini.
The new building has added a drive-up window that is open earlier than the library itself. Window hours are Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday noon-5 p.m.
The library is open Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m.