By Amelia Hughes
Lansing Star staff writer
LANSING – Evelyn Piskornic, a patron of the South Lansing Library, is serious about reading.
“I got to have a book. I’ll go crazy if I don’t have a book,” she said. “If I don’t have one next to me on the table, I got to go get one. I have withdrawal.”
Piskornic is distressed over the renovation of the South Lansing Library branch of the Capital Area District Library. The overhaul will shutter the library’s doors from Feb. 18 to April 15. Patrons may return books to the drop boxes outside of the branch, but use one of the area’s other branches to borrow items.
“I was shocked,” said Piskornic about receiving word of the closure.
The library staff has been heavily involved with the renovation plans and insists the two-month closure will ultimately be a good thing.
“I think some people may be a little upset right now,” said library clerk Annie Gordon. “But once it’s all done and they’re in here and they see it, they’ll be so excited.”
Diane Speerbrecker, also a library clerk, has worked at the South Lansing Library since it opened in 1998. She sees the renovation, paid for by the building’s owner, DTNManagement Co., as a gift to the branch and its patrons.
“This is the first time we’ve really been able to do something to make it functional for patrons,” said Speerbrecker. “About 25,000 people come through here a month. Libraries are not a priority, we’re lucky to be getting renovated.”
Library patron Rick Chris, a frequent user of the library’s computer center, was skeptical.
“Two months is a long time,” said Chris. “As long as it’s taking, it better be good!” Speerbrecker said it will be.
“This isn’t just a library,” she said. “People come here to connect with one another. Coming to the library, that’s all the social interaction some people get. The renovations make more of that possible.”