Think of the 35-year-old Lawrence Public Library as a nice 1972 Pinto; it still runs, but how far will it get you?
That's one of three messages that library leaders will be getting out to the public as part of a $14,000 advertising campaign designed to drive home the need for library improvements.
Bruce Flanders, director of the library, said that print, online and radio advertisements would begin soon. Flanders said the ads would not be advocating for a particular library project or proposal, but instead would be focused on general library needs.
"There is no message about hound your city commissioners or anything like that," Flanders said. "It is basically to make people aware of the needs. There may be some members of the public who haven't been to the library in a while and think that everything is fine. We want them to know that not all is well at the library."
The advertisements will focus on three particular areas:
¢ Age. That's the ad that uses the Pinto analogy.
¢ Parking. Flanders said those ads feature a sign that shows library parking followed by the words "Good luck."
¢ Size. Those ads will use the picture of a 10-year-old boy wearing clothes that are extremely too small to illustrate that library consultants have found the current 45,000-square-foot library to be undersized by about 20,000 square feet to meet today's needs, Flanders said.
The library is not using any public tax dollars to pay for the advertising. Flanders said $5,000 came from the library's endowment fund, which comes from private donations. The remaining $9,000 came from the volunteer Friends of the Library Board.
Flanders also told the crowd that he expects the library board to revisit and perhaps change its recommendation to build a new library on the site of the current post office as part of a public-private partnership with members of the Gene Fritzel Construction group. The City Commission has declined to take any action on that recommendation, and several candidates seeking one of three seats on the commission have stopped short of endorsing the idea.
"I don't have the sense that the library board is entrenched in its position," Flanders said of the recommendation.