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Clayton's new library is scheduled to open Sept. 4, says a news release for the St. Louis County Library

It will be the last branch (well, almost) to be renovated or rebuilt according to the library's master plan.

The Mid-County branch at 821 Maryland Avenue will be about 15 percent larger than the old library, which dated to 1977. The old library closed in November 2017 for demolition.

The updated building will have a new underground parking garage and the amenities that have gone into most of the previous 17 new branches: a computer lab, separate children's and teen spaces, quiet rooms, a meeting room, vending machines, a business center and, of course, new shelves and furniture, including oversized chairs so adults can read to kids. 

The project was budgeted at $8.5 million and designed by Christner Architects. The children's area got a $30,000 boost from the William T. Kemper Foundation. The library says the area will be in shades of magenta, teal and green with bamboo accents and have special reading nooks and interactive learning stations.

With 18 branches completed, the library plan turns to its final stage, building its new History & Genealogy Library and administration building in Frontenac, and then replacing the headquarters building on South Lindbergh Boulevard. The work is expected to start later this year. All construction is paid for by a 2012 tax rate increase approved by St. Louis County voters. 

But there is one more addition to the library's branch plans: a new Eureka Hills branch will break ground next summer. The branch, which replaces a rented space, was not in the original plan. 

Jane Henderson is the book editor for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.