"Many of our patrons are very excited about it," said branch librarian Seng Lovan. "We are already seeing quite a few changes. They are excited how it will all turn out."
The Town Council approved a contract to install 33 new computers in the Danville library, at its meeting Nov. 6. The library will be replacing its 16 computers plus adding another 17; they all should be installed by the end of the month.
The Danville Library Renovation Project is part of the town's Capital Improvement Program. The project includes new tables and chairs, consolidating the children's and adult's circulation desks, and creating more shelving space. The total project cost is $250,000 and will be finished sometime in January, said Town Manager Joe Calabrigo.
"We built the Danville Library in 1996, and we committed to it being a state-of-the-art facility," he said. "This is following our commitment to do that. We want to make sure that everything that we offer is up-to-date and first rate."
The library is also the first in Contra Costa County to have radio frequency identification, which is a self-automated machine for checking out books. Two-thirds of the library's items are in the new system, said Rochelle Flotten, renovation project manager and assistant to the town manager.
"It's well-received by parents and children at the library," she said.
"It's a joint project," added Calabrigo. "All the libraries will be using that technology."
In addition, the library has received two early literacy computers for children from the county.
"It's a learning tool," Flotten said.
There continues to be a shortage of funds for operating libraries statewide, Calabrigo said. In the past, the county has put funding measures on the ballot but they have come up short. Towns often had to make it their priority if they wanted to see library improvements.
"Funding was cut back in the early 1990s for the last 15 years," Calabrigo said.
The county offers funding for all its libraries, including Danville, for baseline services. Clayton and Danville are the only two towns that have built new libraries in the county; Walnut Creek is closing its downtown facility next week to construct a new 42,000-square-foot, two-story library scheduled to open in spring 2010.
Danville goes beyond the baseline service by being open 60 hours a week and on all seven days.