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Web Exclusive: Behind the Scenes at the New East Library, The Standard at East Library

Last month, librarians of Milwaukee Public Library's East Library put a time capsule in the wall of the new building so that a future generation can find artifacts about what was used in libraries when the library was built. Since then, construction workers of Stevens Construction have put up the dry wall, adding definition to the new library's interior.

On Tuesday July 15th, Milwaukee Public Library  opened its doors to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee media for a Hard Hat Tour to see how the new library construction, as well as adjoining apartment structure The Standard at East Library,  is progressing.

Mayor Barrett says that this will not be the only new library construction taking place in Milwaukee. The city is planning new library buildings for some branches around the city that need the new start. We can expect to see more libraries being built in the next six years.

"It's a recognition that libraries are still very very relevant, very very important, and is a place, in my perspective, where democracy still works," says Mayor Barrett.  

Mayor Barrett continued on to say that libraries are a place where people of all ages can come together to exposure to learning in a variety of formats, including visual and auditory methods.

Milwaukee Alderman Nik Kovac, Third District, who also serves on the Milwaukee Public Library library board, says that the architectural blueprint helps the library's goal: longevity within the community.

The library is built as "an open space so it's an adaptable space that can adapt from bookshelves to laptop bars to who knows what because ware here for the long haul and that commitment is important," says Alderman Kovac.

Kovac also hopes that the library will help anchor the East Side and east side of North Avenue as a destination, creating it as a "third place you can go." He wants to morph the East Side into a place where people can come just to look around no matter what time of day it is.