Forget what you think you know about your local library – because come this summer, Charleston County’s new Wando Mount Pleasant Branch will redefine the entire library experience.
Last week, the CHStoday team got a behind-the-scenes look inside the new branch – and we’ve never been more excited to put our library cards to use. Scroll for a look at a few of the features we’re most excited about.
An inviting design filled with natural light
Like we said, everything that went into planning the Wando Mount Pleasant Library was intentional – and that includes its design, which is all compliments of the local architecture firm LS3P Associates. There are no dark corners in here. Almost every wall features large windows designed to show the nature outside + bring in the natural light.
Look out for this: the Oculus, a special architectural feature over in the children’s area, offers kids a funky place to sit and read while surrounded by views of the outdoors. It looks pretty awesome from the outside looking in, too.
An outdoor reading garden and patio
Those looking to completely immerse themselves in nature can do so in the library’s outdoor reading garden. There’s seating scattered throughout, including all along a tree that was saved during construction of the property. No charge, no problem – there are outdoor chargers located in the garden, too.
Outside, there will also be a separate reading garden for small children – so when the weather’s nice, storytime can move outdoors.
An auditorium that can seat up to 250 people
The auditorium, once open, will be the largest of its kind in the library system. Not only will it be used for library events, but cardholders will also be able to reserve it for qualifying purposes to be used any time during the branch’s operating hours. The room even has a sound-proof divider so it can split the space into two separate rooms that can seat up to 125 people each.
Additionally, the library will have reservable meeting/conference rooms (an amenity that was a direct result of public input) and four study rooms – all of which will have white boards and a T.V. that computers can be connected to for screen sharing, and securable WiFi (no more struggling to get a good connection for a Skype meeting).
Individual + group workspaces – including a dedicated quiet room
Aside from the reservable meeting + study rooms, the library has both tables + individual desks scattered throughout the space that will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
At the old library, those taking tech classes were required to bring their own laptops. The new library has a learning lab with 18 computer stations. The library will be able to offer all kinds of computer-based classes there – from building a resume, to learning the ins + outs of Microsoft Office. For those that do bring their own computers, there’s a nearby charging stand that can hold + power up 20 laptops at a time.
One of our favorite perks: the library even has a dedicated quiet room (picture above), which is exactly what you think – a room for when you need a peaceful + quiet place to focus. Not only was it designed with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the reading garden, but it also was intentionally placed far from the kids + teen sections in order to minimize outside noise.
Designated space for both children + teens
Both teens + younger children will have their own, dedicated space inside the Wando Mount Pleasant Library. And, get this – the teen space was designed so that teens will actually want to hang out there.
The children’s area will be include the library system’s only dedicated story-time room, complete with a screen and projector; self check-out stations (so your child can keep playing while you finish checking out); 18 computers, including 6 with a variety of educational games for older elementary-aged kids; family restrooms + nursing areas; a station filled with board-books for early readers.
The teen space is just for teens, and will include 2 study rooms that only they will be allowed to utilize; dedicated outreach programs; tables for reading + group work; and, last but certainly not least, a gaming room with a television, comfy couches, and a sound system. That area will be equipped with gaming technology that even the most rebellious teens can’t deny – we’re talking an Xbox, PS4, and potentially even VR technology.
A DIY makerspace
Where my crafters at? This area is all for you – two creative studios will house equipment like a Cricut Machine, sewing machines, + 3D printers. In other words, it’s a DIY-ers heaven.
Those rooms will be used for classes, but will also be available for individual crafters to utilize (all you’ll need to do is sign a waiver + attend an orientation to be allowed to take advantage of the tools on your own).
Once a craft project is complete, makers will have access to a designated portrait area (pictured above) perfect for taking a professional quality photo that will make any Etsy listing pop.
A digital creation studio + editing labs
Another first-of-its-kind feature coming to CCPL via the new Wando Mount Pleasant Library: a digital media studio + editing suites.
The suites will be equipped with both Adobe Creative Suites (think: quality photo + video editing) as well as microphones (anyone wanna start a podcast?).
Inside the digital studio is a green screen (couldn’t afford a family vacay to Europe? Just take your holiday photo here + add in the Eiffel Tower later), recording equipment (for both video + still photos), and even a keyboard, guitar, and mic. Forget a garage band – now, you can start a library band.
Again, these areas will be used for classes, but are also free for library cardholder to reserve– you’ll just need to attend an orientation beforehand.