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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Merida English Library shuts down so renovations can conclude

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Lee Steele
Lee Steele
Lee Steele is the founding director of Roof Cat Media and has published Yucatán Magazine and other titles since 2012. Sign up for our weekly newsletters, so our best stories will appear in your inbox every Monday.
The Merida English Library’s multipurpose classroom and rear garden, in an architect’s rendering.

Return those borrowed books as soon as possible, because the Merida English Library is closing Saturday, June 1.

They won’t open again until the long-awaited renovation and expansion is completed.

“It is our hope that the expansion will be finished by the time the fall season begins. Stay tuned as we update you on more exact dates,” reads a recent MEL newsletter, “and that we will have not only a newly expanded space but a variety of new events and programs for you.”

Books cannot be checked out now, but librarians are offering numerous titles for sale. Eager to clear out their space, MEL is selling books for 20 pesos each, or three for 50 pesos and seven for 100 pesos.

“It’s a great bargain, a way to help out MEL, and of course keep yourself reading all summer!” the announcement states.

MEL is also asking members for volunteers with storage bins and boxes, and for rooms to keep in-circulation books safe until the dust settles.

If this story sounds familiar, it’s because it’s nearly a repeat of last summer’s construction. MEL was closed for six weeks while the first phase of construction was completed.

The library has feverishly held fundraisers, from silent auctions to exotic guided trips, to pay for the project.

When finished, MEL’s expansion will include two classrooms, each accommodating 20 people, in the middle of the garden. The plan also integrates the bookshelf mural that anchors the present garden space along with retractable metal-and-glass panel walls and the canopies in the front courtyard area.

MEL’s architects include Kenneth E. Goodman, Miguel Puig and Studio 360.

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