The Portage District Library is renovating and expanding its building!
The new location at 5528 Portage Rd. is across from the Kalamazoo / Battle Creek Airport and between Airway Lanes and McDonald’s.
The Library is open Monday – Thursday from 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM, Thursday 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM, and Saturday from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
Patrons may return materials at the temporary location through drop boxes to the right of the entrance of the building. Any overdue fines will be waived on all materials once they have been checked in. Returned items will not be checked in immediately upon return, and may still be on your account for a few days.
Services at the temporary location include access to the majority of the collection, computer and Wi-Fi access, copy, fax, print, scan, curbside pickup, and programs. Inter-Library Loan services will resume on Monday, June 7.
While the Library apologizes for the temporary inconvenience our closure may have caused, our construction team has assured us that moving will reduce the overall time required to complete renovations.
The Portage District Library building at 300 Library Lane was first built in 1976. In 1996, due to the community’s growth, the Library went through its first significant renovation, which created the atrium and added space to the lower level. Much has changed in the 25 years since the last renovation and the library building is in need of some updates.
In 2016 and 2017, the Portage District Library Board and Staff created a strategic plan to guide the Library’s work as an essential resource in our community. This process included community and staff focus groups, patron surveys, and interviews with local leaders. Using the information collected as a guide, the Library Board and Library Administrative Staff also worked with a facilitator to update our mission statement, clarify our vision for the Library’s future, and reflect on our organization’s values. Adding new services our patrons requested, updating infrastructure, and expanding the Library building to accommodate our growing community were identified as crucial steps to continuing our impact in the future.
The Library determined that to renovate our building, it would need additional funds. At the November election in 2019, Portage voters supported a request to increase the Library’s millage by 0.5 mills for ten years.
Since accomplishing the millage increase, the Library Board and staff have been working with the Architecture firm C2AE to design a facility that will achieve our strategic plan’s goals. These plans include a robust set of improvements to our facility’s layout, increased space for collections and services, and upgrades to existing areas.
Construction is scheduled to be completed at our current facility in April 2022. At that time, the temporary location will close and the Library will resume services at the newly renovated facility at 300 Library Lane.
“We are thrilled to be in a position to design a library for the future.” Library Director Christy Klien states. “Our patrons value education, life-long learning, and growing together as a community, and we are happy to be part of designing a space where that can happen.”