If you happened to take a trip to the Richard Elias-Mission Library on March 11, you were met with signs on the doors stating the library was closed and will remain that way until next summer.

That’s because the library is set to undergo massive renovations, something Pima County Public Libraries Director Amber Mathewson said, “We’re excited about.”

The library, which opened in 1978 will be closed for over a year as the county makes way for 5,000 square feet of new improvements, including an expanded outdoor space for kids, new meeting rooms and a bigger collection of books.

According to a memo, “$6 million in future capital improvements for the renovation, restoration and expansion of the library, with 1% of the construction cost dedicated to public art,” was approved in 2020.

“Also a great spot for folks who are looking for jobs to come in and get help in their job searches,” she said of the improvements coming. “We also have access to food programs, so people who are having some food insecurities.”

After acquiring the library in 2020, the county renamed it in honor of former board supervisor Richard Elias, who was a community advocate.

Mathewson said these improvements continue some of the work he was passionate about.

“Supervisor Elias was always looking to help people make the next steps in their lives and to have the next steps in the community they need, and libraries were definitely one of his passions.”

For those who frequented Mission Library, here are a list of nearby public library locations:

Southwest Library, 6855 S. Mark Rd. Frank De La Cruz-El Pueblo Library, 101 W. Irvington Rd. Quincie Douglas Library, 1585 E. 36th St. Valencia Library, 202 W. Valencia Rd.