Building Process Update: September 2018

There has been a lot of progress on the mixed-use library proposal. Here are some highlights from the last few weeks.

Library staff and the community have been working on developing our space needs. This includes identifying features to include in a new building. OPN (library architects) created various high-level diagrams of spaces a new library must contain. Think space for materials, meeting rooms, staff and more. We went through several iterations to make sure the layouts achieved our goals. This work helped us to determine if the Soldier Square ramp site can contain a library. The good news is that the site does work for our space needs.

The bulk of the remaining work was to discuss how we will approach materials and services. Every community has different philosophies about library service. We learned from feedback in our summer focus groups what is important to our community. Our discussions specifically focused on access to meeting rooms, public computers, and creating welcoming spaces for our diverse community. 

Finally, we can't have an update without addressing parking. Accessible and adequate parking is an essential part of any successful library. The whole area near the Soldier Square ramp is on the cusp of significant redevelopment. For this reason, it is important to identify a comprehensive parking solution. Planning for this is complex and it takes time.

Internally, our staff is working on completing collection size estimates. After this work is complete, planning for the library will be on hold. We need to wait until more progress is made regarding a parking solution. The work we are doing must remain in sync with what is happening in the neighborhood. 

We hope that a solution will be found that can provide accessible and adequate parking for library users. At that time, we will pick up our work and continue planning the library building. 

-Colleen Rortvedt, Library Director