The long-awaited renovation and expansion of the Haddonfield Public Library is about to begin.

A $2.2 million bid for the construction project is expected to be awarded around April 14. The library's last day for visits until the project is completed around the end of the year will be April 19, said library director Susan Briant.

But the people of Haddonfield will not be library-less all those months. Around May 11, a temporary annex will open at 123 Kings Highway East, formerly a shop, offering some of the more high-demand collections, computer services, and some children's and teen collections.

In addition, throughout the period of the closing, residents will be able to obtain temporary library cards at the Camden County Library system, the Cherry Hill Public Library, and the Haddon Heights Public Library.

Once the project is complete, Briant said, "the library will be flexible, offering 21st-century services and technology, but it will maintain the traditions of the building, and it will be fantastic."

Historic features like the Monticello front will remain.

"What people love will continue to be, but restored to better days," Briant said.

The new renovated library, however, is also intended to be an improvement on the past - a facility all can use.

The project calls for a 2,000-square-foot addition onto the Tanner Avenue side of the library, with an elevator to three floors for handicapped accessibility. The restrooms will also be accessible, and there will be modern furniture, a new roof, and carpeting.

For those who are nostalgic for the old furniture or just need some cheap pieces, the library is now conducting an online auction of the furniture and equipment.

Whatever doesn't get picked up through the auction will be on sale at the library from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 24 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 25.

During the construction, children's programming will be held at Borough Hall, Briant said.

Adult and teen programs will also continue. That scheduling is still being worked out, she said.

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