The Lake City Branch, 12501 28th Ave. N.E., 206-684-7518, is tentatively set to temporarily close in early 2018 for about six months for improvements to make the branch a more enjoyable space for patrons to read, study and collaborate.

Patrons are invited to learn more about improvements planned for the library at an open house at the branch from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23.

Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner will make a brief presentation at 6 p.m., and then patrons will have the opportunity to see the architectural designs, learn more about expanded spaces and improved services and learn about preliminary plans to hold programs at alternate locations while the branch is closed.

Originally built in 1965, the Lake City Branch was expanded as part of the 1998 voter-approved "Libraries for All" bond measure that renewed and revitalized libraries across the city. The larger building opened in October 2005.

While the expanded building served the community well, there continues to be a strong demand for collaborative space, basic computer instruction and staff help with technology in general. The branch also has the busiest Homework Help program in the system.

Improvements include adding about 1,600 square feet of public space by opening up the entrance and corridor, reconfiguring the interior layout to create flexible spaces for children, teens and adults, adding more outlets to charge devices, relocating the public computers, adding meeting space and soft seating, and combining service desks.

The improvements are designed to support the changing ways that patrons are using libraries and make it easier for people to interact with one another, create flexible, open, welcoming spaces and improve access to technology.

The interior changes are part of Turner's vision for The Seattle Public Library. One of his five service priorities is "reimagined spaces" - adapting and energizing Library spaces for new uses in keeping with changing services, programs, interests and needs of Library users and the changing ways that they use Library spaces.

"Our priority is to make sure our libraries meet the needs of the community," Turner said. "This renovation will allow the branch to more effectively serve a growing, diverse community and support a wide variety of patron uses, services, and partnerships with local social and human service organizations."  

The Library is where the community comes together to share experiences, learn new skills, become entrepreneurs and successful students, take part in civic life and interact with one another.

The Library promised to protect the public's investment in its buildings as part of the 2012 voter-approved Library levy. The Lake City Branch improvements are part of the Library's commitment to ensuring its buildings are well-maintained, clean and comfortable for patrons.