School provides temporary home for Peaks Island library

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PORTLAND — As plans move forward for a $650,00 renovation at the Peaks Island branch library, the island’s elementary school has been tapped as a temporary home for library operations.

The Peaks Island Elementary School was able to shift students to other available classroom space, which freed up a room for the library, according to the School Department. In addition, students at the school will now benefit from having direct access to the library.

Ground has not yet broken on the library project, but the move to the elementary school calls for cordoning off a separate entrance, classroom and a restroom to serve as the library’s temporary home. The exact dates are not yet determined, but the move is likely to occur sometime this spring.

“We are excited about our ongoing partnership with (the Portland Public Schools),” said Sarah Campbell, director of the Portland Public Library. “This collaboration with the school gives us the opportunity to continue full library service to the island community, (as well as) build special programming for our young neighbors.”

Jeanne Crocker, the assistant superintendent for school management, added, “The Portland Public Library is one of our most important community partners. We are grateful to (the library) for all it does to support our students and we look forward to continuing our successful collaboration.”

The renovation project at the Peaks Island library consists of enclosing the current entrance off Sterling Street, building a new entrance and adding a new kitchen and storage space, along with improving restrooms.

In addition, the Douglas E. MacVane Community Room will also receive a significant upgrade. Once completed, the new library building will be renamed the The Kennedy & Carter Family Community Center.

The Portland Public Library and the city’s schools “have a robust and long-standing partnership,” according to a School Department press release.

For example, the library’s bookmobile makes almost daily visits to elementary schools around Portland and teachers actively encourage their students to participate in the library’s annual summer reading program.

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or Follow Kate on Twitter: @KirishCollins.

An architectural rendering of what the newly remodeled Peaks Island branch library will look like. During the renovation project the library will be temporarily housed at the island’s elementary school.