HUNTINGDON, Pa. (WTAJ) — Everyone will soon be able to personally access books from the top floor of the Huntingdon County Library.

After an extended period of time without a working elevator, the library began construction to renovate the elevator on Monday. 

The previous elevator had been in place for 53 years.

Erickson estimated the elevator will be ready for use in a month, after three weeks of construction and a certification process.

The total cost of the renovation is $140,000. Erickson said one-third of the project costs were covered by a Keystone Grant the library received. Additional funds have been raised through donations, but the library is $15,000 short of their goal. 

The lack of a working elevator prohibited patrons and staff with mobility issues from reaching the second floor, which primarily houses nonfiction and historical books. 

“Our main mission is to make sure people have access to information, and not being able to get to our collections really does limit that access for people,” said Lisa Erickson, Director of the Huntingdon County Library.

Erickson said this revamp is a part of a larger push the library is taking toward accessibility for all.

“We want to encourage people to come into the library, and having an elevator that’s working is part of that,” Erickson said.

The library also invested in rolling desks and increased the walkway space to make it easier for wheelchair users to navigate. 

Erickson said any future donations toward the project can be made on the Huntingdon County Library website or by check through the mail.