CROWN POINT | Library staff packed up belongings last week ahead of a move to the library's new home in the 100 block of North Main Street.
"The walls are bare and it looks empty," said Lynn Frank, library director.
The library at 214 S. Court St. closes for good at 5 p.m. today. The new, $12 million library on North Main Street is set to open Oct. 22.
Starting Monday, workers will pack crates with the more than 100,000 books lining library shelves before moving vans arrive on Tuesday to cart them to the new address, Frank said.
The move is a bittersweet one, Frank said.
"I've spent a lot of time here since the early 1970s, first as a patron and then as an employee," said Frank, who held a number of positions on staff.
"I'm excited about the change," Frank said. "It's a very big step for the citizens of Crown Point. We'll miss the old building, the nostalgic things. But the benefits of the new one will be absolutely wonderful."
The three-story, 46,750-square-foot replacement library dominates the north end of North Main Street in the downtown. Much larger than its predecessor, the building features expanded areas for children and teens, with more space for computers and activities.
Three meeting rooms in the building will be available to the public, with some applicable fees.
The structure replaces a library built in 1972 as an annex to the Carnegie Center, the original library which opened in 1908.
Patrons making some of their last visits to the older library last week had come to terms with the move.
"I liked this location," for its quietness and relative seclusion a block from the downtown square, said David Shepard, of Crown Point, a frequent library patron.
"But the new library is well needed," he said. "And it has room for more books."
Betty Flannery, a participant in a knitting class and book discussion groups and a lover of historic fiction, said she practically lives at the library.
That will continue even after the move, Flannery said.
"Wherever the library is, that's where I'll go," she said.