The space may be just a fraction of what used to be available, but the move is only temporary.

The space may be just a fraction of what used to be available, but the move is only temporary.

This week, the Mid-Continent Public Library’s Independence North branch opened the doors to a new location – the former Independence Regional Health Center.

The temporary spot, 11,000 square feet compared to the 43,000 square feet in the branch’s U.S. 24 home, is expected to last about a year while the library undgoes a major renovation. Library officials say the new-improved library will be a destination library.

Thumbs up to the library and the library staff for continuing with a forward-thinking approach to meeting the needs of the community. These renovations come after the library’s genealogy center moved into it’s own location on Lee’s Summit Road, giving the facility at 317 W. U.S. 24 room for this much-anticipated expansion.

The temporary location boasts 80,000 materials accessible to the public and another 170,000 materials stored in the basement. While that area is closed the the public, the materials are still available for checkout. Library officials should be commended for their efforts in ensuring the public still has access to the necessary material.

Thumbs up, also, to the library officials, Independence School District and city of Independence in working together to come up with a viable solution. Not only does using the hospital enable the public to continue access to the books and research materials, but it also makes invaluable use of a facility that has been vacant for more than two years. While the plans for the old hospital’s future use are still being laid out, it’s good to see the building will get some kind of use during the next year.