Innovative Library: Poplar Creek Public Library

Poplar Creek Public Library
Undergoing a major remodel in 2009, the Poplar Creek Public Library worked with their existing 44,000-square foot building, more than doubling their space to 96,000 square feet with an addition, while keeping the needs and desires of their residents in mind. The original poured concrete building, built in 1976, formed the basis for the expanded structure that truly reflected the changes in the community and commitment to the patrons. The new façade works to bring in light and create a variety of inviting environments for all ages.

The newly renovated building has allowed the library to offer updated spaces and expanded services for all ages and interests. The community has also increased access to the renovated library by creating a connection via a bicycle and pedestrian path that leads to the city hall and police department.  In addition to programs offered within the building the library is also involved in regular outreach programs that serve a local senior center and senior healthcare center.

For children and teens, gaming has been a popular attraction.  Rather than just doing gaming nights, the staff host gaming tournaments that attract up to 50 kids at a time for an afternoon-long event. Academics are a focus as well with a variety of service tutorials including Live Homework Help! and Learning Express Library, among others, to help build skills and improve learning through the provision of specialized help. This help can be offered to anyone who has a library card either at the library or in some cases online from wherever they may be. This has proven to be a great way to extend resources without fully relying on library staff for this specialized assistance.

Additional community connections occur through a cooperative program with the Gail Borden Public Library and the Bartlett Public Library called “Battle of the Books”. The program works with local schools and neighborhoods to create up to 40 area teams of 4th-6th grade students who read a variety of library recommended books on a designated book list. The teams then compete in a series of meets where they answer questions about books in a competitive environment. Scores are kept and winning teams recognized but the emphasis is really on the joy of reading quality literature and the fun of participating in the event.


Janet Nelson

Janet Nelson

Janet is the former Director of Library Engagement and Solutions at Demco. She managed and developed relationships with key industry leaders to understand changing library trends and services.