Every year, the library chooses a new project to improve services. This project is selected and funded by efforts from the library staff, library board, and local organizations such as the Friends of the Melbourne Public Library and local businesses, grants, and donors.

Do you have a project or service suggestion? Do you wish to volunteer, donate, or partner with us on a project? Contact us!


Current Project: Lot Beautification & Community Garden


Our lovely new deck unfortunately required the uprooting of a green space we wish to replace. This landscaping creates a beautiful & inviting facade, but serves practical purposes as well. The buffer zone between parking spaces & our new deck adds a layer of safety from vehicular damage. We also intend to plant both native flora for pollinators & vegetables available to any visitors to take. Maintenance may also provide a volunteer opportunity: great for students seeking cord hours!


The installation of three 8-foot raised beds with trellises & solar lighting.


Our current timeline puts installation & planting at springtime. We hope to start getting blooms & veggies by summer & fall.


Past Projects

What was done? How did this improve user experience?
Lot Beautification & Community Garden
Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation, Friends of the Melbourne Public Library, library funds
Coming soon!
Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation
Due to the pandemic, the foundation provided funding for our own discretion with no need to apply or evaluate. We give thanks to a gracious benefactor for making a hard period in a service industry a little easier.
COVID Safety Measures
State Library of Iowa, library funds; research from OCLC, IMLS, and Battelle
We installed protective, easy-clean covers on keyboards and mice, several points of hand sanitizer with instructions, and material return totes for staff to disinfect before reshelving. 
The State Library of Iowa sent a care package of commercially sold-out safety materials, including disposable face masks, disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitizer, all in a tote to use for disinfecting materials. 
The State Library also provided multiple online meetings weekly to improve services. These ranged from statewide conferences to workshops to mental health check-ins with colleagues. Ideas and best practices affected all areas of programming and service during the continuing pandemic.
REopening Archives, Libraries and Museums (REALM), a research partnership between the Online Computer Library Center, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Battelle, created and distributed science-based information and recommended practices designed to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to staff and visitors engaging in the delivery or use of museum, library, and archival services.
Door Replacement
Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation, Friends of the Melbourne Public Library, library funds
Not completed due to COVID-19 and the derecho. Availability as well as demand were difficult to navigate. We still wish to complete this project as soon as possible. We hope to provide doors that are more navigable for wheelchair & mobility aid users, as well as give basement renters a timed digital code for entry rather than a physical key they might lose.
New Deck
Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation, Friends of the Melbourne Public Library, fundraising, library funds
Our old deck was crooked, rotten, and full of pests, especially wasps. Truly, it was unwelcoming for the public and difficult to maintain for library & city staff. The new deck is made of PVC material and features an improved layout for ADA compliance, outdoors programming, and lights along the steps and ramp for safety.
New Computers
TechSoup, Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation, library funds
With discounted prices from TechSoup, we purchased 4 public & one staff computer far below market rates. The new computers are faster & easier to use for both public & staff. 
TechSoup is a nonprofit international network of non-governmental organizations that provides technical support and technological tools to other nonprofits.
Roof Refurbishment
Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation, Friends of the Melbourne Public Library, library funds
The roof has improved features to increase heating & cooling efficiency. No more loose shingles on blustery days! A local contractor provided a special rate as well in consideration of our nonprofit practices.
2017, ongoing
Basement Refurbishment
ARPA grant, Friends of the Melbourne Public Library, library funds
Updated paint, refinished floors, bathroom mobility aid hardware, and a smart TV.
In the future: more sound insulation, meeting equipment such as a mobile whiteboard, and a projector for rent. The door project, currently on hiatus, will provide digital key entry to renters.
Book Drop Replacement
Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation, library funds
A local builder crafted a custom receptacle for library materials. The shortened drop along with special features provide safety for materials. The insulation and design jointly provide improved heat/cold retention, fewer disruptive sounds for visitors, and fire safety to the building.
Coffee Group Project
Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation, Friends of the Melbourne Public Library, library funds
A conference table with tabletop power plugs and comfortable seating for 10 was added. Originally for a group of coffee drinkers to use, the library staff and other visitors continue to make use of this long after the group disbanded. For organizing new book orders, meeting with trustees and clubs, or simply homework and a warm beverage, everyone loves a welcoming space.


Ongoing Project: Basement Refurbishment

As a natural continuation of the library's renewal begun in 2015, we realized the community needed a new place to gather. When the library main is too busy and the rec center is too large for their needs, renters turn to our ground-access basement.
Now the space is used for public needs such as City Council meetings, CPR training, or private needs such as birthday parties, holiday events, family reunions, grad gatherings, and more. The library uses the space for special programming, such as the summer program.


What started as a paint job to bring a defunct preschool room into the present as an all-purpose community room is an ongoing project. The Friends of the Library in partnership with the library as well as funding from the Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation and ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) grant will continue to improve the space.


2017: Friends repainted walls and refinished floors in the meeting room. They also redid bathroom flooring and added safety hardware near the toilets.
2018: The library bought and installed a smart TV for meeting room renters to use. This has also come in handy for board meeting presentations.
Future: We have plans to add more meeting tools such as mobile whiteboards, sound dampening, and a projector for meetings (or rental). With the door project currently on hiatus, a digital key entry will be added so renters never have to worry about returning physical keys again.
We don't know when this project might be considered finished. So long as we see changes in public needs, we will continue to upgrade our rentable space.


On Hiatus Project: Door Replacement

Our library was built in 1997, and the doors have served us for over 20 years. Changing services of the library combined with the age of the building have made it clear that it is time to replace them.


New doors, including electronic code-based locks, will allow staff & users to enter more easily. Basement rentals will no longer require borrowed keys necessitating deposits and returns. Users will simply get a custom code from the staff that will time out for increased convenience & security. Our library volunteers & staff are seeking available contractors.


Our previous timeline put completion at late spring 2020. We faced one delay due to the pandemic, as contractors couldn't meet with us, and then another when the derecho drove demands for home repair services up. The project is currently on hiatus.