Monday, September 11, 2017

And the Work Goes On!

So while I've been out in the community attending book groups or even grabbing a bite to eat, I've been stopped by customers who are asking me"What's going on at the library" or "When are you re-opening?"

The project has had a few unexpected surprises, including the need to do asbestos abatement in most of the public area and replace plumbing pipes where the new restroom fixture work is occurring.  These surprises have added construction time to the original 6 month project estimate.  The latest projection for the reopening date is now expected for early 2018.

The work goes on!

Construction crews have removed damaged ceiling tiles in preparation for the installation of new and brighter lighting and new ceiling tiles. The electrical work needed for the new lighting will be done while the ceilings are open.
Tiles removed from ceiling, exposing wiring and insulation
Tiles removed from ceiling
Once the old children's shelving was removed from the perimeter of the Children's Room, non-insulated concrete blocks became exposed along the outside walls.  This required the contractor to add insulation and drywall to those areas in preparation for the new shelving to be installed.

Before, packs of drywall and insulation awaiting installation in the White Oak children's room
Before - Insulation and drywall awaiting installation
After, drywall and insulation installed in the White Oak children's room
After - New insulation and drywall installed
Prior to the refresh project start, the entrance to the children's room was very close to the front door. Little children often ran out of the children's room and straight out the front door.  To address that safety concern and to provide better visual access as well as more direct service desk access to the Children's Room, we decided to move the entrance to the children's area a little further away from the front entrance doors.  Contractors have begun the process of framing and closing up the old entrance and relocating the new entrance.

White Oak's children's room entrance with wood stud framing
Old children's entrance with framing
A wider view of the children's room entrance with wooden stud framing
Full view of children's entrance

Another view of children's room entrance

New metal railings were also installed along the stairs leading up to the building and to the book drop.

New ramp and railing in front of book drop
Another view of the new ramp and railing.

New ramped front and middle entrance
Please stay tuned to the White Oak library blog to the find out the latest.

                Angelisa Hawes
                Branch Manager
               White Oak Library

Friday, August 4, 2017

White Oak Library Progress Report

A Sneak Peek into White Oak Library's progress

In my last blog post I showed pictures of the concrete being broken up and cement being poured.  Well here are the fabulous pictures of the outside !

Empty concrete pad where White Oak bike rack will be installed.
New bike rack area
Concrete ramp leading to White Oak bookdrop
Ramp leading to the book drop
Handicapped parking spaces awaiting paint
New handicapped parking spaces
Stairs were taken out because they were not ADA compliant. Temporary pieces of wood were placed around the stairs area to add a barrier of protection during construction. 
Concrete stairs encased in a wooden frame.
Temporary stairs
Bathrooms were gutted

Gutted rest room with only wood framing and cinder block walls visible.
Men's restroom 
Empty room with one ladder and wood framing on cinder block walls
Women's restroom
What about books? Yes, lots of new and interesting books are being processed and prepared for our grand reopening.

Children's books in a newly opened box
Box of new children's books
New books sitting on the top row of a metal book cart
                         New books being processed                               
The work continues! Stay tuned to the White Oak Library blog to find out the latest!


Angelisa Hawes
White Oak Library 
Branch Manager

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Extra! Extra! Construction Continues at White Oak library!

Wrapped bookshelf
So you are wondering how does the REFRESH take place with books being on the shelves?

Boxed new and returned books
Books on the shelves are wrapped with a special kind of plastic wrap so that dust and debris is unable to get onto the shelves and books. Once the shelves are wrapped we can't add any new or returned books to the shelves. The shelves stay wrapped until we are close to re-opening in the fall. New and returned books are now being boxed and sent to storage.  We will be add them to the shelves once construction is complete and the "wrapping" is removed.
What's going on with the construction?


The last 3 weeks have been spent making White Oak's parking lot and its book drop ADA compliant. Customers will have an easier time accessing the sidewalks and stairs to the library, the parking lot and the book drop when the library reopens from its refresh project. An ADA ramp was installed in front of the old book drop. The book drop will also be replaced so that the height meets ADA guidelines.

Tearing up uneven concrete
Front view of ramp


Conduit being run through the ceiling

Bathroom fixtures removed in preparation for demolition
So what is else is happening while the library is closed?

White Oak Library's 3 book discussion groups are meeting at the White Oak Recreation Center. These book discussion groups include :

1) Mystery book discussion group
2) Evening book discussion group
3) African-American book discussion group.

The chess group is also meeting on Sundays at the White Oak Recreation Center.

Citizenship classes sponsored by the Baltimore City Community College are meeting at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, which is located at 11612 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20904. 

Please stay tuned to the White Oak library blog for updates and pictures of construction. Thanks

     Angelisa Hawes
     Branch Manager

See our Flickr slideshow for more construction pictures -

White Oak Refresh    

Monday, June 19, 2017

What's Going On at White Oak Library?

White Oak Library officially closed on April 15, 2017. Many were sad to see us close, but we're excited for the new changes that will happen with the refresh project!

exterior of White Oak library on a sunny day with closed for renovation sign

So what happens before construction begins? White Oak library staff spent approximately 2 weeks in the building packing and shelving materials. The children's area had to be completely packed so that old shelving could be removed. Books, DVD's, CD's were all placed in boxes and labeled. Once the packing was completed, the White Oak library staff began their temporary assignments at impacted branches. Impacted branches included Marilyn Praisner, Silver Spring, Long Branch, and Wheaton Interim library.

Before Pictures

Two blue chairs sitting in front of shelf of picture books
Children's Picture Book Area

shelves of books on cd
Books on CD

girl sitting at a table reading a book with brightly decorated walls behind
Children's Room

desk with the word checkout on it
Circulation Desk

After books were packed and old shelves were taken down

large open area with carpet a little furniture and support poles
Children's Room after books and shelving were removed.

An asbestos contractor was hired to remove all of the carpeting and the mastic which had been found to have asbestos in it. This process took a couple of weeks and the areas are now ready for new flooring to be laid.

Remediation pictures

Plastic Enclosure with warning signs
Teen Area

After the abatement pictures

Concrete floors and wall shelving in large open area
Magazine and PC Area

Concrete floors and support poles in large open area
Children's Area

Concrete floors and support poles in large open area
Adult and Teen Area

So what happens next? Contractors will begin to fix ADA issues on the inside and outside of the building. Bathrooms will have old tile and fixtures removed. Un-leveled and damaged cement and bricks outside of the building will be removed and replaced.

So what other types of updates will I see at the White Oak Library?
  • 2 new collaboration rooms
  • New furniture
  • Painting and re-carpeting of the public areas
  • Some new shelving in Adult and Teen areas
  • All new shelving in Children's area
  • Remodeling the public restrooms including floors, walls, and toilet stall partitions
  • New ADA compliant ramp for book drop access
  • Additional digital signage monitors

Stay tuned to the White Oak Library blog for more details!

Selfie of woman in a blue shirt

Angelisa Hawes
White Oak Branch Manager

Monday, March 20, 2017

Just In! White Oak Branch Closes on April 15, 2017 for Refresh!

What Is a "Refresh" and When Will It Take Place?
White Oak library will close to the public on Saturday, April 15, 2017 at 6 PM so that it can be "refreshed."

So what exactly is a refresh?

A “refresh” project is a new Capital Improvement Program process approved by County Council and the County Executive to allow library buildings to get significant and timely updates without having to close for the lengthy time it takes for a full renovation. 

MCPL won the prestigious 2016 Top Innovator Award from the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) for our Library Refresh Program! Want to know more about this award?

So what types of updates will I see at White Oak?
  • Painting and re-carpeting of the public areas
  • Remodeling the lower level public restrooms including floors, walls, and toilet stall partitions
  • Adding 2 collaboration rooms (a table and seating for up to 4 people)
  • New furniture
  • Some new shelving

What nearby branches can I use while White Oak is closed?

How long will White Oak be closed?

White Oak Library will be closed for approximately 6 months.

Where will the White Oak staff work while the library is closed?

Staff will work at other branches temporarily until White Oak Library re-opens.

What will be the last day that I will be able to choose White Oak Library branch as a pick-up location for my holds?

The last day to choose WO as a hold location will be Saturday, March 25, 2017.

Will I be able to return books in the book drop after White Oak Library closes?

Yes, but only until Thursday, April 27, 2017. The book drop will be closed after that date and you should then return items to one of our other MCPL library branches.

Stay tuned to the White Oak Library blog for further details......

Angelisa Hawes
Branch Manager

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Montgomery County Public Libraries' Quince Orchard and White Oak Branches to Close for Refresh Projects

White Oak branch with MCPL Refreshed logo
Montgomery County Public Libraries has announced the closing dates for the Quince Orchard and White Oak branches refresh projects.

The Quince Orchard and the White Oak branches will close on Saturday, April 15, at 6 p.m.; they will be open that last day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Both branches will be closed for approximately six months so the facilities can be refreshed.

“Physical construction for the refresh projects at Quince Orchard and White Oak will begin in May, but we are closing two weeks ahead of the construction start date to complete the internal reorganization of collections and shelving, and the packing up of materials, service desks, and other spaces,” noted Library Director Parker Hamilton.    “We look forward to welcoming Quince Orchard and White Oak customers back to their branches in the fall of 2017, and hope they will visit nearby branches and our 24/7 website while their facilities are undergoing the refresh process.”

Please check the home page for each branch ( or ) in April
for additional information about the closing, including the last date for book returns in the book drop.

A “refresh” project gives library buildings significant and timely updates without having to close for the amount of time it takes for a full renovation. The Library Refurbishment CIP funds programmatic and service impact updates to two to three libraries every year.Partial funding for both the Quince Orchard and White Oak projects was provided by the County Library Capital Grant Program, Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Library Development and Services.

Read the original press release.