Re-opening CADL’s South Lansing Library

By Marisol Dorantes

Seven weeks and over $125,000 later, the Capital Area District Library’s south Lansing branch reintroduces itself to community

Friday, April 19 — The Capital Area District Library’s South Lansing branch would like to reintroduce itself to the community.

The library, at 3500 S. Cedar St., closed for seven weeks for renovations and its success has been immediate. It’s almost unrecognizable to long-time patrons.

Ron Blood, a loyal visitor of the library for 10 years, checks books out every two weeks. “The place is much brighter and cheerier. The space seems less crowded than before. They just did a great job,” he said.

The library has been open to the public since Monday, two weeks before a grand re-opening on April 29. The celebration is a way to reintroduce the establishment to the community.

“They really kicked butt getting this done,” Michele Brussow, head librarian at the branch, said with a huge smile. Brussow worked for the library from 2000 to 2009. When she returned in 2011, she was determined to renovate the space. “Walking in was like seeing old bruises — they were always there but they stood out even more when I came back.”

The renovations — which exceeded $125,000 — included tearing down walls, new carpeting, repainting and decorations. The cost was worked into a lease agreement with DTN Management Co.

“It was a real partnership between CADL and DTN. It shows that the city recognizes the importance of the library,” said Chad Gamble, chief financial officer for the city.

“It was wonderful. The library didn’t have to fund it and we got everything we needed,” said Elizabeth Breed, marketing and communications director of CADL. The organization Friends of the Library funded the décor.

“It’s so important to have a welcoming space for the community because when the economy is tough, this is where people come,” Burrows said.