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By 2007 the Yakima Central Library building had been in continuous service for 50 years without a major renovation. But time doesn't stand still. By 2010 the leaking roof, undersized electrical system and oversized utility bills made it necessary to rethink and renovate the library.

The first phase of the project replaced the aging heating and air conditioning system before it failed altogether. The second phase converted an old auditorium in the basement into a much needed modern office space.

The final phase of the remodeling project focused on three major goals: moving the public restrooms to the main floor of the library; increasing the number of public computer stations, and the relocation of the main service desk to a central location. Reorganizing spaces within the building also made it possible to provide a dedicated space for teens and a more open and visible children's area.

Public service desk

Visitors to the newly remodeled Yakima Central Library are at the public service desk as soon as they walk in the door. Staff are available at the desk and throughout library, ready to help and answer questions.

library center

The new layout was designed to be easily accessible for all visitors. Restrooms are centrally located on the main floor, to the left of the public service desk and directly across from the new Children's area. Go past the Children's area to browse for Fiction of all kinds. Nonfiction is on the second floor. Turn right at the public service desk to find the new Teens' space and computer plaza.

Children's area

The relocated Children's area is just a few steps from the public service desk. Its bright colors and abundant natural light were designed to appeal to youngsters. Its open layout and well defined boundaries were designed to appeal to parents and other adults who supervise children's activities. A row of computers just for children hugs the low, curved wall that defines the edge of this special space.

public computers

The new computer plaza was designed to accomodate three times as many public workstations - 30 in all. Wireless access is also available. Click here to learn more about using computers at the library.


Teens have their own place at the library, set off a bit from the public thoroughfare, but still just steps away from the front desk. It's a place to meet up with friends, find a favorite book or DVD, use a computer, even work on homework.

Click here to discover how this renovation design was developed and carried out.


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