The long-awaited $1.3 million renovation of the Lucile H. Bluford Branch of the Kansas City Public Library, 3050 Prospect Ave., will begin in early-September 2009 with expected completion by January 2010. During the construction process, the branch will be closed temporarily starting at 5 p.m., Friday, August 14, 2009.
Limited neighborhood service will remain available to Bluford Branch patrons while the renovations are underway. Library cardholders may request books and other materials by calling the Library at 816.701.3400 or logging on to kclibrary.org to have items retrieved and held for pick-up from the mobile Bluford Branch van that will be stationed outside the branch on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 3 p.m.– 5p.m. beginning August 31, 2009. Bluford Branch patrons may also reserve materials for pick-up at any of the other nine Kansas City Public Library locations.
"Closing the Bluford Branch for a few months will enable the speediest, safest and most cost-effective renovation process," noted Crosby Kemper III, director of the Kansas City Public Library. "While we acknowledge and sincerely regret the inconvenience this temporary closure will entail, we firmly believe the end result will justify this brief interruption of full neighborhood services. In the meantime, we encourage Bluford Branch patrons to visit our other locations and look forward to welcoming you there."
The Lucile H. Bluford Branch is named after the pioneering local civil rights leader and longtime editor of The Kansas City Call. Constructed in 1988, it was the first of five full service neighborhood branches built after the Library system separated from the Kansas City School District in 1986.
When the current round of renovations are complete, Bluford Branch patrons will have access to over 60 personal computers and laptops, more than doubling the current amount. Additionally, they will be able to check out a vast collection of the works of African American writers in fiction, non-fiction, biographies, memoirs, and history. The core collection will also focus on parenting, spirituality, and health. Teenagers will have a space of their own an abundance of cds, video games, and different genres of books to select as well as college preparatory materials and information on teen pregnancy. The expanded multimedia holdings will feature a collection of gospel music as well as a special movie and television section. The branch will also be enlivened by displays depicting the life of Lucile H. Bluford, neighborhood history, and the African American experience.