back in the
stacks Vines Architecture tied books, technology and community together in the Durham County Main Library renovation B Y J . MICHAEL WELTON | PHOTOG RAPHY B Y J OHN M I C H A EL S I M PS O N
ABOVE Tatum Cooper, 9, and her dad, Eric Cooper, peruse the children’s section on the first floor of the Main Library. RIGHT Eric, Banks Cooper, 2, Tatum and Sheena Cooper walk down the library’s light-filled central staircase.
t’s not every day that a $6 million library renovation turns into a $44.3 million community center. But that’s precisely what happened with the Durham County Main Library. Sure, it took more than a day. More than a decade, really. But in that time, the Durham County government – along with a team of architects, engineers and librarians – collaborated to give the city a state-ofthe-art, free asset that serves all its citizens. “We call it a transformation because it’s not completely new – some areas are part of the old Main Library,” says Library Director Tammy Baggett-Best. “The original building was 65,000 square feet, and we added 31,000