There will be a parade of sorts in Edgartown sometime in early February. It should be quite a sight. Following a small ceremony marking the closing of the Edgartown Free Public Library on North Water street, library lovers will be invited to carry the first of nearly 50,000 books and other items from the library collection along downtown streets to the new library building next to the Edgartown school. The symbolic move will mark the end of the historic building funded by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and North Water street resident Caroline Warren as the town’s public library. It will mark the beginning of the building’s new role as a visitor center and library of historic documents and art operated by the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust.

Library director Lisa Sherman is looking forward to more room. — Mark Lovewell

“It didn’t seem right to simply turn out the lights and lock the door,” said Nis Kildegaard, the reference librarian who has helped plan the move.

The staff hopes to close the library on a Friday in early February, though the date has not yet been set. A moving company will then begin the colossal task of packing and moving the library collection to the new $11 million facility.

Construction began in the summer of 2013, and the library was scheduled to be open last June. The library building committee opted to delay the opening after several unanticipated delays. Meeting the original schedule would have likely pushed the project well over budget, they said.

Library director Lisa Horton Sherman expects the transition to take about three weeks. During that time, staffers will need training on a new phone system, and time to work out the inevitable kinks in computer systems, get used to the layout of the new building, and operate modern desks. The desks can be configured in a traditional setup, or raised with a crank to create a stand-up workspace.

Entire new library is designed to delivery technology, with outlets and fast wireless connectivity. — Mark Lovewell

The exact date of the library opening will depend on installation of the shelving at the new building which is now underway, and must be complete before the move can begin. It is no small task. Think of it as putting up shelves in your home, multiplied by a factor of 100.

Ms. Sherman said the worry over managing the complicated transition is balanced by the anticipation of a new venture.

“We’ve been waiting for this for so long,” she said. “It’s like being excited about going on a trip to a place you’ve never been.”

At first, the library will mostly offer services similar to those at the North Water street location. But there will be easier access, and a brighter, roomier environment. There are more than 40 parking spaces for staff and patrons, including three spaces for people with disabilities. People entering the library through either of the two main entrances will first see the main circulation desk. On the first floor is an enormous open room that will house the children’s collection and host programs. The library is designed to accommodate a large after-school crowd from the Edgartown School, just steps away.

First the shelves, then come the books and hungry readers. — Mark Lovewell

“We’re excited about the proximity to the school,” Ms. Sherman said.

The library’s fiction and young adult collections will be on the first floor. Also on the lower level is a large meeting space, complete with state of the art projection equipment and hearing assistive technology. A stylish, wide central staircase leads to the second floor, where the main collection will be located. Around the exterior of the large, open second floor are small private study rooms, and two larger conference rooms, available to local groups for meetings. A separate room will house the library’s historic collection of documents, books and art about Edgartown.

The entire library is designed to deliver technology. There will be plenty of computers, but also plenty of space for “bring your own.” Long counters are equipped with dozens of electrical outlets, and the library will provide fast wireless connectivity.

Exact date of the library opening will depend on shelving installation. — Mark Lovewell

“There are going to be places for people to come in with their own devices and sit down and work,” said Ms. Sherman.

Once the transition is complete, the new library will open its doors, though the town will save the fanfare for later.

“We’ll have a soft opening,” said Ms. Sherman. “We’ll have a big ceremonial ribbon cutting in the spring.”

During the interim between when the old library closes and the new one opens there will be no library services in Edgartown. Ms. Sherman advises people who have borrowed books not to worry about returning them strictly on time if the due date falls during the transition.

“We are not going to worry about overdue books,” she said.