Patrons may find the library to be a brighter place now.
Recently, utility department employees with the City of Fremont replaced more than 1,500 bulbs at Keene Memorial Library.
Tina Walker, director, talked about lighting when the library’s advisory board met Monday. The board also approved the library’s updated policy handbook and Article 7 of the City of Fremont’s Municipal Code.
“We moved to all LED bulbs throughout the building and they’re all the same color. We had five different colors before. We still have the old ballasts,” Walker said.
A ballast provides voltage to the bulbs.
“There were 65 ballasts out when they came over,” Walker said. “To change out a ballast is a lot more expensive than changing out a bulb so they just did the ones that were out. As they continue to go out — if we get 10 of them out — they’ll come over and do 10 of them. But they did the entire building.”
In August 2018, Walker told the board that 50 of the light fixtures in the library didn’t work and the facility didn’t meet the minimum requirements for reading light. There was inadequate light at the welcome desk and stairs.
“The ballasts (in the fixtures) are dead, so we have to replace the entire thing,” she said. “These are so old that a lot of companies aren’t carrying them anymore.”
Walker mentioned the cost savings of going to LED lighting.
She said the library’s electric bill is $50,000 a year.
By going to LED lighting, the library would go from using 30 amps to two to four amps.
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“They expect our electric bill to drop over 50 percent,” Walker said.
Walker also talked about 20 large, gym-type mercury light bulbs in the ceiling above the circulation and welcome desk.
At Monday’s meeting, Walker said workers are looking at how to see how to change the electrical wiring to allow for LED bulbs in those places.
Walker noted the improvements.
“It’s still dark, but it’s better than it was,” she said. “We were using flashlights to put some of the books away in the shelving areas and we had some meeting room spaces and some public spaces that were so dark you couldn’t read what you were looking at.”
In other business, the board approved the amended policy handbook and updated Article 7 of the city code.
Information about the library in the code was quite outdated. For instance, it stated that the city manages the library, reading room, art gallery and museum through the library board.
The city doesn’t manage an art gallery or museum.
Walker believes Article 7 was written a long time ago and not changed.
Both the approved updated policy handbook and Article 7 will go to the Fremont City Council on Sept. 24 for final approval, Walker said.