The Enteros Design Team was employed by the Washington County Public Library System Foundation to conduct a Library Facility Needs Assessment for the Washington County Public Library System. The Team consisted of Gil Entzminger, AIA, LEED– Enteros Design, Petersburg, Virginia; Joe Huberty, AIA, NCARB, LEED– Engberg Anderson, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; John A. Moorman, PhD -Dominion Library Associates, Williamsburg, Virginia; and Scott N. Wilson, P.E. – Thompson and Litton, Bristol, Tennessee.
The library wanted a study to accomplish the following:
1. Examine the space conditions of the current Abingdon, Virginia main library facility
2. Examine the space needs for a new or renovated main library for the Washington County Public Library System
3. Examine the current main library site as a possible site for a new or renovated main library facility
4. Examine the possibility of a Joint Use Library facility with Virginia Highlands Community College
5. Select a possible third site for a new main library facility
The project involved three trips to Washington County by the consultant team. The first trip was a data gathering trip. During this visit the team go to know Library Director Charlotte Parsons, library staff, county and town elected and appointed officials, library board and foundation members, and better understand “What makes WCPL?.” In addition to meetings, town halls, and tours, we also issued a public survey to help us better understand what the community was looking for in its library.
The Main Library building is located in the heart of an Historic downtown, and was originally built in 1975. Very little has changed since then. Much of the library’s furniture and interior is dated, and less than conducive to the community interactions many expect in a modern library.
While almost every respondent surveyed lauded the staff for their helpfulness and courtesy, just as many found issues with the lack of up to date technology, meeting rooms, and quiet zones. The comprehensive report provided by the Enteros Design Team gave the library a detailed look at their options for the future, including site options, site diagrams, and library trends that should be considered in the development of a modern library.