A public report to the community updating the progress and construction schedule of the $1.3 million renovation project at the Lucile H. Bluford Branch of the Kansas City Public Library will be given by Library Director Crosby Kemper III on Friday, June 5, at 6:30 p.m. at the branch, 3050 Prospect Ave.
Kemper will discuss enhancements and upgrades to the branch’s services and collections. He will also provide an update on the renovation campaign’s fundraising drive, which includes a $100,000 challenge grant from an anonymous funder contingent on the donation of at least $10,000 by 100 or more contributors from the community. Additionally, representatives from Kansas City-based SFS Architecture will present the design plans for the renovation.
Slated to begin this summer, the Bluford Branch renovation is expected to be completed in fall 2009. The branch will close temporarily during the construction process for approximately 10-12 weeks.
Both the physical renovations to the facility’s structure and the upgrades in service delivery at the branch reflect the opinions and desires expressed by a series of focus groups with a wide spectrum of patrons.
“We heard loud and clear from the community about what it needed and wanted from their neighborhood branch library,” says Kemper. “We’ve attempted as much as possible through the new design, as well as in the delivery of services moving forward, to represent the community’s thoughts and desires in the new Bluford Branch. We don’t want to just renovate the physical building with the interior, changing the colors, and bringing in new furniture. We want to take this opportunity to really change what this branch says, what it means, and what it delivers to the community.”
Named for the pioneering Kansas City civil rights leader and former editor of The Kansas City Call, the branch annually serves over 300,000 visitors. With the renovation, 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 collection will also focus on parenting, spirituality, and health. Teenagers will have 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 dedicated to acclaimed filmmaker, Tyler Perry. To cap off the renovation, the story and legacy of Miss Bluford will be told through a photo display prominently placed at the entrance of the Library.
The presentation by Kemper and the architects is free of charge. Click here  or call 816.701.3407 to indicate your interest in attending. Donations to the Bluford Branch Renovation Campaign will also be welcome at this time.