Frederic Community Library to serve as hub for library services for area residents
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
The Frederic Community Library will serve as a hub for all Crawford County library operations as work on the additions and renovations at the Devereaux Memorial Crawford County Library in Grayling continues.
When Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order on March 16 to ban groups from gathering in public buildings to stop the spread of the coronavirus, a highly contagious respiratory disease, the library was forced to close.
Three days later, employees for the general contractor, subcontractors, and suppliers working on the renovation and addition project stopped work.
Construction at the library renewed on May 7 after Whitmer gave her approval for the industry to resume work.
Work in the library is like a domino effect because fire suppression equipment and heating and cooling equipment needs to be put in place before ceiling tiles can be put up.
“We are working on what we can because those companies went to other places and started other work and now we’re trying to get them back here to finish up,” said Connie Meyer, the director of the Crawford County Library System. “Slowly but surely all the pieces are starting to come together.”
Within six weeks, library officials are hoping to have the new conference room open in the renovated library. The summer reading program, which has the theme “Imagine Your Story” is slated to kick off Thursday, July 23.
An ice cream sundae bar and pizza party are planned along with other programing that has been in the works.
“It’s probably going to be scaled down from what it has been before, but we’re going to have some performers that are willing to do some live performances,” Meyer said.
Construction at the Devereaux Memorial Crawford County Library is not expected to be finished until September, because all the book racks have to be moved for laying carpet and the building will have to be cleaned.
The initial completion date for construction was September of 2019, but was delayed due to complications of Consumers Energy having to move power poles due to the new higher roofline of the library.
The date was then pushed to April 2019 before the COVID-19 impacted the nation.
“That set us back months, and with the whole COVID thing, it’s a year behind,” Meyer said.
The library in the Frederic Community Building, located at 6470 Manistee Street, was opened on Monday, June 8, to serve all library patrons in the county.
Patrons can put a hold on books they would like to get and return books and other items.
“There will be no fines assessed for anything,” Meyer said.
There will only be 10 patrons let into the library at one time, and they will have to wear masks.
“Much like businesses today, we have to operate by those Centers for Disease Control guidelines,” Meyer said.
Two employees will staff the library. One will handle the public and requests, and the other will be wiping things down and disinfecting materials and equipment.
The staff and public will use separate bathrooms, there will be no drinking fountains, and an emergency exit will be utilized as a regular exit.
The Devereaux Memorial Crawford County Library will be closed to the public due to the state of construction and to give crews time to clean the building.
“I think it’s going to be a good month before we can open the doors to even a few people at a time,” Meyer said.
People that have a hardship getting to Frederic for library services will be offered curbside service when it’s available.
“For those cases, we will do our best to do curbside service,” Meyer said.
In August of 2018, Crawford County voters approved a bond proposal to enhance services and access to the Devereaux Memorial Crawford County Library by a 1,584 yes to 1,458 no vote.
The library was built in 2001. Leslie C. Devereaux donated $500,000 to the community in order to get the library built. She wanted to honor her grandfather, William Devereaux, and father, Richard Devereaux, who were avid readers, fly fishermen, and sportsmen who started coming to the Grayling area in the 1920s.
In turn, local taxpayers approved a $1.5 million bond issue to cover the remaining cost for the building. The bonds for building the library have been paid off.