By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer
“This library is ‘Mottkanda,’” Kim Penn, Mott Library’s branch manager told a large crowd of people, gathered in the parking lot of the library.
After months of constructing occurring at the intersection of Dorr, and Hawley, the newly built Mott Library officially opened on Friday, June 7. Festivities included free finger food, performances by Martin Luther King Academy for Boys’ drumline, the Clarence Smith Community Choir, and vocalist, Vicky Simpson.
The over 19,000 sq. ft. library, with large windows wrapping around it, and a massive geometrically shaped roof, with various angled under hangs, had many people looking up while in attendance.
Hans Walter, design architect with Bostwick Design, who had a partnership with Buehrer Group Architecture, told The Toledo Journal about the library’s design.
“Being that the library sits in a park, we wanted to make it look seamless, as if the roof was a giant canopy of trees that covers, and protects everyone underneath,” he said.
As far as the large windows that reveal the inside to those looking in, Mr. Walter said, “We wanted the front of the library to have a type of living room feel, and when a person is sitting in that living room and relaxing, they can look outside their windows, into a peaceful environment,” he explained.
Along with the artistic structure, the inside houses 90 inch screen monitors, Macs, and Apple computers throughout the library, an auditorium that seats over 100 people, a children’s area with several interactive play sets, a sit down café with snacks, with vending, six study areas, and a recording studio, for either audio, or visual.
“I just love it,” Ms. Penn said. “There’s so much potential to do a multitude of programs,” she added.
Willie Ward, principal at Martin Luther King Academy for Boys, said the students had been talking about the library since construction began.
“They were so excited about the new building. The unique structure of it gave us the opportunity to discuss with the boys angles, and engineering design,” he said.
Dajuandolyn Ramey, 14, couldn’t stop talking about the library. “This is going to attract more kids. It’s bigger, and brighter. I love the big windows, and I love the café I feel really proud today.”
With the uniqueness of the building, and all the technology incorporated inside, one person highlighted the original purpose of libraries, and the original purpose Mr. Walter’s wanted to inspire.
While most people were looking at the computers, or eating, or simply on their cell phones, Jamarion Wilson, 13, was relaxing in a chair, and reading a book.
“I like this library a lot better, because it has a lot more books. This new library makes me feel chill, and want to sit back, and want to read,” he said.
The hours of the library are, Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.