Archive for Friday, March 16, 2007

Advertising campaign for library to focus on parking, size needs

March 16, 2007


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.


cowboy 8 years, 8 months ago

does this hit anyone else as just wrong , a city department spending funds to advocate for itself ?

alfie 8 years, 8 months ago

What needs to be told to the public in Lawrence, is that "We the people of Lawrence", and Douglas County have access to all the libraries at The University of Kansas, which are located in the center of Lawrence, plenty of parking, and rated as some of the best libraries in the state and the US. We have more than plenty, JUST ASK...

Godot 8 years, 8 months ago

I believe I predicted this a few weeks ago. But not that I would be one to say, "I told you so."

KsTwister 8 years, 8 months ago

City Hall should swap places with the current library if they want to use the meeting rooms. problem solved. No building costs,no parking problems and $30k for more important issues.

Nate Poell 8 years, 8 months ago

I've been a pretty solid proponent of building a new library. Recently, though, I've come around to thinking that simply adding onto the existing facility and maybe opening a branch around Clinton Parkway and Kasold -- moving into a pre-existing building -- may be the best course of action.

I should've participated more in the initial open sessions. If they open things up again, I'm definitely participating.

jafs 8 years, 8 months ago

Site-specific annexes would solve the current problems at a much lower cost than any of the other proposals.

Put the children's section and a/v stuff in an annex.

Or the reference material and computers - non-circulating annex.

The city could lease some of the available empty space in the Tanger or Riverfront Malls.

This would free up space and parking space at the current library - both malls have parking space available.

Those sites would be close enough to downtown for those that needed to go to more than one place, and those uses would maximize the possibility that folks might not have to.

Parents could get children's books and movies at the same place, computer users and folks doing research could use that annex, and people who just need books could go to the main library.

Cost: Undoubtedly much lower than any of the development proposals, and if we wind up with lots of extra money, those could still be considered.

jafs 8 years, 8 months ago

I agree the analogy is poor - a building should last longer than a car!

cowboy 8 years, 8 months ago

Flanders is the worst example of PR I have witnessed in recent memory. Some one at city hall should revoke his press privledge. This is an ill conceived campaign and should be scuttled before any more money is wasted on it.

LJW , ask them how much they are spending and who recommended / authorized it.

In this day when major newspapers say they will not be printing in another ten years , book printers are going under big time , and most of us access any thing we need on the web , a bricks and mortar monument is ill advised.

Farmboy 8 years, 8 months ago

Strap on your guns and go to Topeka to see what a top notch library is like. Or are all of you as illiterate as you sound? Good grief.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 8 months ago

It has been stated more than once that adding on the top would be very expensive because the building was not constructed with that in mind. Adding on to the east and west ends could be done and I say go three floors. No doubt the library needs some upgrades. Do them now or pay more later. It's too bad the library feels it needs to spend 14 grand to explain itself when in fact it's time for improvements. Again do it now or pay more later.

Sop far as parking is concerned why not take the parking lots on each end of Vermont on the east side up three stories?Top floor park free!

Otherwise 9th and New Hampshire could take advantage of the existing parking garage plus other parking in the surrounding area such as the metered lot where the Farmers Market gathers.

Or the failed retail River Front Plaza which could give the city another indoor pool. The failed retail Tanger Mall is not central to anywhere but North Lawrence and they would like a grocery store which seems logical.

If another spot is chosen the old library building should be sold for a few million.

davisnin 8 years, 8 months ago

It seems like even if the library can't bear the weight of another floor, a second one could be piered at the perimeter and float on top of the first floor. Make sure that the second floor goes all the way to the edges of the property and we'd probably triple the space. Have fritzy and the chamber do all that other crap on their property and make 'em put some parking underneath. Total cost $200

Tom McCune 8 years, 8 months ago


I worked on the construction of the existing library, and it is not designed to take a second floor. (As originally built, the lower level was left unfinished to provide for future expansion. That expansion happened several years ago.)

However, the existing building is well built and as others have noted it could be greatly improved by renovating various systems and possibly adding on horizontally.

KsTwister 8 years, 8 months ago

It does amaze me that other cities can design buildings and additions to go up but Lawrence doesn't improvements. It doesn't hold with the Lawrence Library Vision of 2025 of having libraries comparable to larger cities. But note that in that report "until 2002" plans for satellite additions were changed which could make good use of other buildings we paid for and sitting empty. Having a price drop from $70mil for the Riverfront project to $30 mil for a new building still makes an issue that is not a priority in Lawrence.

KsTwister 8 years, 8 months ago

Correction: Lawrence doesn't want improvements.

KsTwister 8 years, 8 months ago

Then add on and take the bus from the parking garage we just paid for.

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