The Royal Oak Public Library is set to receive a number of interior improvements this year, including a new teen space, new furniture, new paint, new carpeting and an expanded children’s area.

The Royal Oak Public Library is set to receive a number of interior improvements this year, including a new teen space, new furniture, new paint, new carpeting and an expanded children’s area.

File photo by Sarah Wojcik

Big interior improvements coming to Royal Oak library

Clawson library to host winter book sale next month

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published January 21, 2020


ROYAL OAK/CLAWSON — Local libraries are evolving with the changing world, focusing on new technology and creating comfortable community spaces.

By the time 2020 is over, the inside of the Royal Oak Public Library will have a very different look.

In Clawson, the Blair Memorial Library will hold a mini winter book sale to raise money for an online language program. It will continue offering a slew of programs.


Royal Oak
Royal Oak Public Library Director Emily Dumas said she is looking forward to a wide array of interior improvement projects planned for the library this year. The inside of the library has not been renovated for 15 years and is due for a facelift, she said.

Some of the improvements include new furniture, paint, carpeting, flooring and a revamping of the teen area.

“We’re going to be taking down the wall between the two teen rooms to create one big room with a glass wall with doors,” Dumas said. “The teens will have their own space, finally. Right now, they don’t have any kind of privacy. We get about 50 teens after school every day.”

She said the library will double the number of computers for teens from three to six, and it is also discussing ways to potentially provide laptops for teens down the road so they have as many computer opportunities as possible.

“Right now, we’re expanding the play area downstairs for the kids and adding new flooring. It’s going to be big,” Dumas said. “We’re creating more lounge areas, as well as better study areas and meshing the need for studying with the need for relaxing and just sitting down with a good book.”

Dumas said the last renovation inside the library took place in 2005, and a lot has changed since then, especially in terms of technology and the way people use the library.

“The library gets lots of wear and tear — tens of thousands of people walk through every year,” she said.

One of the main challenges the Royal Oak library faces is an increase in smartphones providing answers within seconds; however, Dumas said the library has really tried to step up its role in helping determine good information versus possibly fake information.

“(We teach people) what’s a good source, how do you cite sources properly and, outside of that, just finding out how do we become a comfortable place for people,” she said. “By listening to people, we have gotten feedback (about a desire for) more comfortable spaces that are also conducive for studying.”

She said that in response, the library will be offering more table space and improving private study rooms.

“With the library adapting new technologies, it gives you the chance to try before you buy,” she said. “We recently got hot spots for checkout, tablets for kids, and we’re constantly looking at more and more items we can add.”

Dumas said the library also offers e-books that are available for patrons to download, as well as computer classes for seniors. To view the Royal Oak Public Library’s program-packed calendar of events, visit

Last May, Dumas said, the library reopened its 11 Mile Road entrance. It had been closed since the 2005 renovation.

“It’s really convenient and just a short walk from the (11 Mile) parking structure,” she said. “Parking is free for two hours before 5 p.m., which is great for storytime parents.”

At 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Feb. 17 and at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 22, the library will hold public input sessions. Each session will begin with a self-guided tour to see what areas will be improved and how they will change, followed by the opportunity to offer feedback on what they would like to see included.

The Royal Oak Public Library is located at 222 E. 11 Mile Road, east of Main Street.


From Feb. 20 to Feb. 22, Blair Memorial Library Director Jenni Gannod said, the library will hold a mini winter book sale to raise funds for the Friends of the Blair Memorial Library to purchase an online language program.

The library was most recently expanded and renovated in 2010, so building improvements are not on the agenda this year, but Gannod said she is excited about all the programming for people of all ages on deck in the beginning of the year.

At 1 p.m. Feb. 19, she said, the adult book club will host Karen Dionne, author of “The Marsh King’s Daughter,” at the library.

“She’s actually going to come to our book club, so we’re really happy about that. Usually we Skype with the author or have a basic book club,” Gannod said.

Other notable programs that Gannod highlighted include an American Girl tea party at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 25, a Valentine’s Day party for families at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 8, and a build-a-fort night for families at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 13.

“We have an interesting mix of things coming up,” she said. “We plan to provide fantastic programming throughout the year.”

To view upcoming adult and youth programs, visit

The Blair Memorial Library is located at 416 N. Main St., north of 14 Mile Road.