Behind The Scenes At The Library: Construction Update

Children enjoy ‘Harry Potter’ activities during the conclusion of the summer reading program at Mesa Public Library. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos County Library
Program Specialist

Construction has begun at Mesa Public Library and we’ve got front row seats. If you enjoy watching heavy equipment (and who doesn’t) you can look through the fence or come inside. I particularly like the view from the third floor, because it gives you a great perspective on the giant hole that is being dug for the air intake tower for the new heating and air-conditioning system.

The contractors are trying to get all the work done they can outside the building before Aug. 20 when they have to close the main entrance to the public. And while you’re on the third floor watching the giant claw, the bobcat and the dump truck, why not visit the Upstairs Art Gallery? Tatiana Klimov’s colorful show is only up until Aug. 5.

People have lots of questions about how they’re going to be able to use the Library System after Aug. 20, and we’ve created a website called to answer some of those questions. We’ll still have books; we’ll still be open to the public; we’ll still be able to get the books and movies and music you want; we’ll still have programs; we’ll help you get access to all of our services.

Behind the scenes, the people who work in Mesa Public Library are busily boxing up their offices and workstations, in preparation for when the construction begins inside the building on Aug. 20. The books and audiobooks and movies are going to stay in place, because they’ll be covered with plastic and they don’t need to breathe, but the people have to move. Some of us are moving to the White Rock Branch for the duration; the youth librarians will have an office in the classroom upstairs at Fuller Lodge; and most of the rest of the staff will be in the small open-to-the-public area in the building called the Zone.

If you like to browse and look for appealing covers, the White Rock branch is going to be the best place for you during Mesa’s construction project. If you are more of a hunter than a gatherer (if you tend to know what you want without browsing), just put it on hold, choose where you want to pick it up, and you’ll get a notification when it’s ready for you. We’ll have staff on hand to help with placing holds.

Librarians are going to be allowed into the stacks for two hours most days, to re-shelve the things you bring back, and to find the things you’d like to check out. During a normal work day, the shelving is ongoing during all of our open hours, and the “holds” (the things you want to check out) get pulled off the shelf several times each day. Since everything is going to be so limited (the time and the space), the staff is getting fitted for hard hats and running shoes, too.

Also, behind the scenes, the County’s IM department is busily working to create additional public internet hook-ups in both White Rock and the Zone. We expect some people who normally use the computers at Mesa to visit White Rock instead.

This year’s summer reading program ended with a magical bang July 28 when at least 400 people visited Hogwarts in the library. They made magic potions, found out what house they belong to with a sorting hat, slipped through the bricks at platform 9-and-three-quarters, and used magic wands to vanquish dementors. 

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This map shows where Mesa Public Library will be accessible during the construction period. Courtesy image