Last night, the not-quite-finished MidContinent Public Library’s Midwest Genealogy Center (which tried very hard to be open in time for the conference) hosted a recption to give National Genealogical Society conference attendees a chance to preview the new facility.
At 52,000 square feet, it’s more than four times the size of the current Genealogy and Local History Branch. That library was already a tremendous resource—in our July 2008 issue, we designate it one of the nine genealogy libraries to visit before you die—but the spacious new digs will make it’s materials and staff even more accessible and useful.
Tuesday, editor Allison Stacy and I took a look at the current genealogy branch (it’s truly bursting at the seams) and got our own hard-hat tour of the in-progress Midwest Genealogy Center. We’re putting together a video for you, but in the meantime, here are some pictures from last night’s reception.
A light-filled atrium is the first thing Midwest Genealogy Center patrons will see.
Here you can see the curved circulation desk and future public lounge (lower level). The upper level will be mostly open stacks.
These reception attendees stand in the future periodicals area.
Researchers can get staff help in two consultation rooms (right); a large classroom will host public programs.
Other rooms will house rare books, a computer lab (with equipment for digitizing your family photos or video tapes), microfilm cabinets and a microfilm reading room.