Tulsa Central Library

On this edition of ST, we welcome Billy Collins back to our show. He is the winner of the Tulsa Library Trust's 2016 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award, and he'll be reading from his work at an event here in Tulsa on Saturday the 3rd at the downtown Central Library. (This event begins at 10:30am and is free to the public.) Known and loved by readers everywhere for his accessible, conversational, clearly rendered, and often witty poems, Collins has been called "the most popular poet in America" by The New York Times.

On this edition of ST, we welcome back Tulsa City-County Library CEO Gary Shaffer. He joins us to describe in detail the TCCL's newly renovated Central Library, which will re-open to the public tomorrow morning (October 1st) with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. For the past two years or so, the Central Library branch -- which originally opened in 1965 near Fifth and Denver in downtown Tulsa -- has been getting a complete overhaul, both its exterior and interior.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we listen back to a 2008 discussion with author and journalist Steve Lopez about his bestselling nonfiction account, "The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music." At that time, this book -- which explores themes of mental illness, homelessness, artistic inspiration, and creativity -- had just come out; it was later the basis for major motion picture of the same title.

On this edition of our show, we welcome Gary Shaffer, CEO of the Tulsa City-County Library. The TCCL's Central Library, in the heart of downtown Tulsa, has recently entered its "public phase," with direct fund-raising appeals being made to the public to complete the mid-century-modern building's vast, thorough, and state-of-the-art renovation. Demolition of the building's interior is now complete; the actual construction of the new Central Library has begun.

KWGS News

Demolition of the interior of the Central Library in downtown Tulsa is about 25 percent complete. The work is part of a 50-million dollar, two year renovation of the building to modernize it and make it more environmentally friendly. On a tour today, Library CEO Gary Shaffer said it will be a hi-tech facility for the 21st century when finished.

The restoration is scheduled for completion in spring of 2016.

KWGS News

Tulsa’s main central library will close next month for a two year renovation, but don’t worry, you’ll still be able to get library services downtown. A Librarium will open to continue library services during the renovation process. Work is underway at the location of an old supermarket at 11th and South Denver. While only a temporary facility, the Librarium will showcase the latest in equipment and technology. Kim Johnson, Library Deputy Director and Chief Innovation Officer, says the project will serve as a trial run for hi-tech services that could become of the new library’s menu.

KWGS News

A special bed bug sniffing dog is brought in to check out Tulsa’s Central Library after some of the critters are found in chairs in the building. Library officials say it’s not an infestation, but the library was closed temporarily and chairs where bedbugs were found removed after a patron was bitten. Miss Liberty Belle, a beagle trained to sniff out bed bugs, was brought in to use her talents in the library. Glenn Collymore is her trainer. He says she sniffs out the bugs and then paws the area to alert when some are found.