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IL library high tech but not space age

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By Natalie Harris

INDIAN LAND – The interior look of the new Del Webb Library at Indian Land will fall somewhere between your grandmother's parlor and George Jetson's apartment.

"The interior of the building is very contemporary and may be considered by some people to be high tech," said Danny Shelley, the library's architect and interior designer. "It's going to be a little different, but it's not space age.

"It's not going to have floral carpets like your grandmama's living room. It's not a house," he said.

But it will be comfortable.

Karen Paulson, chairwoman of the Lancaster County Library Board Committee, wants the library to be "Indian Land's living room" – a place for the community to meet, work, live and relax.

The library's green, orange and yellow color scheme will reflect Indian Land's Catawba history. The carpet will be green with muted orange and yellow colors. Cabinet and countertop components will accent the theme. A cork landing will be just inside the front door.

Shelley says the natural colors and wood will add a warm touch to mostly metal furnishings.

About two weeks ago, Shelley and the committee chose the library's color scheme, furniture and shelving. This week, Shelley will put the pieces out to bid and should receive the bids back a week later.

"We're going out on a limb to order these," Lancaster County Library Director Richard Band said, but the library must have them to open.

Band says the books will all be in one open room. To differentiate the collections, the shelving will have different end panels. The four children's collections will have brightly colored plastic panels. The juvenile section will have slat wall panels. The adult section will have blond maple wood panels. The audio visual panels are mirrored metal.

The furnishings will not magically appear on opening day. Shelley says furnishing the library is complicated. First, the building has to be finished.

"Otherwise, things get too confusing," Shelley said.

Shelley says the library's contract finishing date is Nov. 12.

It takes a week or two to assemble and anchor the shelving. During this process, the furniture arrives. Then the books come in, and shelving them is tedious and time-consuming, Shelley says. The staff has to put the books in the catalog. Then there's the landscaping and paving. All of it costs money.

Band won't know the final costs of the furnishings until the bidding is through, but he estimates the furnishings, shelving and technology will cost about $203,000.

"I'm still hoping that with the county's help, we'll have enough to cover most of these things," he said.

On July 28, County Council will discuss tapping into the county's $16 million reserve fund to help furnish and buy books for the library, which still needs about $220,000 before it opens.

Band said the new library will probably start off with between 8,000 and 10,000 books on its shelves. A few hundred of those will be transferred from the Lancaster library and the rest will be new.

"We won't have the greatest opening day collection, but hopefully, people will understand," Band said.

The collection will include children's picture books, fiction and nonfiction for both children and adults and some paperbacks and books on tape.

The collection will be built on requests from the community. The Indian Land library will eventually hold 30,000-40,000 books.

The library will probably open in late December 2008 or early January 2009.

The library board will decide on the opening date at its meeting Monday night.