Somewhere in the early days of the library building renovation project, someone, thinking about the wood feature wall behind the staircase, suggested that we could put words or sayings on the panels.
This caught the fancy of city staff, the architects, and the building project team. Early in 2008, we formed the word wall team. It included members of the building project team (staff, City Council, Library Board, citizens) and added members of the Richland Arts Commission. Many meetings ensued with discussions on words, sayings, font style and size, color, and many more design features. Each member contributed a multi-page list of favored sayings; we combined those lists to find common choices. From there the work turned from creative to technical as the team worked to fit the sayings onto panels of varying sizes, some vertical and some horizontal.
The team discussed many themes and concepts, with the use of the Dewey Decimal system winning as an overarching concept. From there, library staff sorted the favored sayings into their appropriate Dewey classifications and arranged them for the wall.
Many people contributed to this effort but two need special mention. Joe Schiessl, Parks and Public Facilities Director, was the liaison to the Arts Commission at the time and provided the brain work on how to allocate sayings to the panels. Mike Steen, formerly of the city’s Streets Division, fabricated the signs. In addition, both Joe and Mike added their love of words and keen eyes for design to make the Word Wall a treasure within the Richland Public Library.
Ann Roseberry, Library Manager
Find out more about the wall, including what each entry means here.