Facelift in store for Carnegie Public Library, new landscaping expected to curb security issues | Features

The Carnegie Public Library has recently received loving care aimed at increasing the security of the historic library and attracting more people.

“When you pull up to the library, the outside is kind of an extension of the inside,” said Jessica Huffman, director of the Carnegie Public Library. “So you want people to go in and look at it and say, ‘This is a beautiful building, I want to go in there’.”

According to the library, a number of tourists come to view the library because it is a “Carnegie” building – or one of 2,509 “Carnegie Libraries” built between 1883 and 1929 worldwide.

“If the outside looks as good as the inside, I think that’s a plus for the community and the city,” said Huffman.

The library grounds once had an American elm tree on the side, a line of bushes and grass in front of the door.

Now the American Elm is gone, the old bushes have been removed with the help of City Crews and 28 different types of plants are being planted by Terry Walsh from Western Rain.

The new landscape design, which will encompass all four sides of the library, has been described as “more of a null landscape” but will still have the flora including, but not limited to, barberry bushes, spruce trees, two perennial gardens in the front of the library , Butterfly bushes and two smaller trees to replace the American elm, which the city removed earlier this year in fear of damaging the library structure.

“So something that is attractive and as easy to maintain as possible,” she said.

Huffman said she must ensure the bushes do not exceed a height of 1.2 meters so that people can no longer hide in the bushes’ shade behind the bushes.

In the past, Huffman has seen used numbing needles and bowel movements on library grounds, but the new landscaping is said to alleviate some of these problems.

Huffman said she understood that some people would hang around the library to get away from the weather, and she liked that there was a safe place for the homeless to eat their food and get away from the weather, but that those who engage in illegal activities are ruined for everyone else.

“The people who used drugs and started fires sadly ruined it for everyone,” Huffman said.

An email to the Trinidad Police to discuss the safety of the library had not been answered by the time we went to press.

The project had a budget of $ 21,000 raised by the City of Trinidad through its marijuana spending in the fourth quarter of 2020. Huffman said it was one of the first projects she took on when she came into the library as director.

The landscaping work is expected to be completed by the end of August 2021.

In the future, the library wants to put a fence in the back so that it can hold outdoor events in a safe place.

“I grew up in this library,” said Huffman. “This is the library I came to when I was a little kid, so I need to revive it and I want to remind people why the library is important.”

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