Remembering Red Bridge Library
By Jill Draper
It’s out with the old, in with the new at the Mid-Continent Public Library’s Red Bridge Branch. After Aug. 20 (the last day open), the stand-alone building at the Red Bridge Shopping Center will close for a month as staff move books, magazines, furniture, computers and other equipment across the parking lot to a newly renovated space next to Euston Hardware.
The old building holds lots of memories, and those are moving, too. Library users are being asked to jot down their favorite recollections—books they were eager to read, programs they loved, funny happenings at story time, etc.—and place them in the big red “Letters to Red Bridge” box near the book return station. Staff will display these comments on a bulletin board in the new building when it opens in late September.
“This library has been in some people’s lives for a generation,” says Steven Bellah, assistant manager of the branch. “We want to cover that board with as many comments as possible.”
Bellah says the Red Bridge Branch originally was located in the shopping center strip somewhere between Caleb’s restaurant and the Pulse Performing Arts Center. When the public approved a tax levy in the early 1980s, funds became available to construct a larger, separate building. The grand opening was held in April 1987, just over 32 years ago.
What will happen to that building after the big move? It’s expected to be sold, possibly for office or retail space. Meanwhile, if you can’t get to the library before it closes to submit your memories, you can post them on the MCPL Red Bridge Facebook page, phone them to a staff member at 816-942-1780 or mail them in a stamped letter.