Thursday, July 14, crews from Ary Construction and Bob Wiggs Construction were busy tearing out old wiring, walls and ceiling tiles in the basement library.
"We've had this project in the back of our minds for a long time," Oregon County Library District board president Myrtle Little said Friday, July 15.
It is the first such expansion since the library moved into the district-owned building in 1990 on the corner of Second and Market streets.
The city library was originally housed in Thayer City Hall since about the time the city was established in 1882.
At its current location, the library has occupied only about half of the space available in the basement, which used to accommodate doctors' offices and storage.
Little said the project is scheduled to be complete before October, although the renovations could be finished much sooner. The project is being funded by a federal library grant.
"We wanted to make good use of the space," Little said Friday, July 15. "It's a good time to open up the library."
When the walls come down, the existing hallway at the entrance will be gone, as will the walls surrounding the computer room.
The computers will now be more accessible, Little said. Overall, the library will be more spacious and modern.
"Technology has changed," Little said. "Especially, our computers are used more."
The Thayer branch of the county's five libraries is the only one open on Saturdays, and one of three to be in district-owned buildings.
The district also owns the Alton and Koshkonong buildings. The Thomasville Library is in rented space in the community center, and the Myrtle Library is in a building shared with the Post Office.
The latest renovation to any of the buildings was the roof replacement project in Koshkonong.
Little said that even though the district does not own its space in the Thomasville Community Center, the owners "were gracious enough" to let the district "knock out a wall" for the library to expand there.
Other maintenance projects included the 2010 water damage in the Thayer Library after an upstairs toilet broke, ruining many books, particularly in the children's section. Insurance allowed the district to buy many new books following the disaster.
Besides upkeep, the district has focused on keeping up with technology.
"We want people using our libraries," Little said.