The Palm Desert City Council Thursday approved a number of contracts to outfit the library after the city takes it over from the county.

“The current library will close on April 30 as a county library and reopen after a light refresh as a city-run municipal library,” Gary Shaffer, director of Library Services, said.

Shaffer said the refresh will include new paint, wallcoverings and window graphics, new carpeting in the community room and flooring in the lobby area, reupholstering existing furniture as well as some new furniture, fixtures and equipment.

“I would be remiss if I did not thank the library taskforce, our council member liaisons, and nearly all, if not every, staff member of the city,” he said. “We held community input sessions and launched a survey to gauge what residents would like to see in the library.”

Shaffer said the new library will feature a visitor center with new books for checkout, an engaging activity area, help desk and eventually a retail sales area; a family area will easy reader books, board books, chapter books and activities for children; an updated patio area that residents can take advantage of once the summer heat subsides; a quiet reading zone, study rooms and veteran service rooms; and a teen space, exploration hub and community room. 

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He also said that, while it won’t open immediately, there will be a sound space that will act as a recording lab kind of space as well.

City Manager Todd Hileman said the up to $650,000 the council was being asked to approve for the outfitting expenditures has already previously been approved by the council to be spent on the library, though he acknowledged that the process for approving these contracts was not the city’s usual process.

“We are getting short on time,” he said. [Shaffer]’s running into logistical issues, so we’d like to get your authority to go ahead and spend the money, purchase it, we’ll come back to you with the reconciliation when we’re done.”

The library, located at 73-300 Fred Waring Drive, has a soft reopening date of July 1 with a grand reopening set for mid-August, Shaffer said.

“You guys have done great work,” Mayor Karina Quintanilla said. “I’ve heard a lot of good things from the community.”

A full recording of the meeting can be found here on the city’s YouTube channel.

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Alicia Ramirez is the publisher of TN News and the founder and CEO of its parent company TN News.