Libraries across North Texas are cutting back to save money during this down economy, but the city of Bedford is building a new library full of high-tech gadgets and green energy features.
The new Bedford Public Library is reaching new heights in technology and size. Workers are adding on to a former Food Lion on Forest Ridge Drive to build a new library more than twice the size of the current one.
"This building was created by the community. We had extensive focus groups," Maria Redburn, library manager, said.
Say goodbye to the checkout desk. In the new facility, you'll be able to do it yourself, scanning a stack of books or DVD's in mere seconds. A drive-thru book drop will let patrons return books after hours and cut down on labor.
"We have a 50-foot conveyor belt that will be conveying books from the external book drive all the way inside into a 9-bin sorter that will read the RFID tag and say, oh, you're an adult book. You go in this bin," Redburn said.
People from Bedford and beyond take classes and use the computers at the library. Soon, they'll get to do it in a more modern, environmentally friendly building.
On the roof, federal stimulus money is paying for a white rooftop to reflect the sunlight off the building to keep it cooler during the summer. Solar panels will provide nearly half the energy to the library, providing power to the LED lights and the geothermal heating and cooling system -- all features that frequent visitors are looking forward to.
"I just like going to the library. And it's a quiet place, where you can just go and relax and forget about everything out there in the outside world," Melissa Biggers, a frequent library patron, said.
The new library is scheduled to open early next year. The project will cost about $11 million.