Archive for Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Linwood Library will double its space with move to Linwood Cafe building

April 7, 2010


The Linwood Community Library will move later this year to the former home of the Linwood Cafe.

And, no, food won’t be served.

The real attraction of the new 35,000-square-foot building, which is on Kansas Highway 32, is space.

“It’s really wonderful,” said Bruce Nelson, library board chairman. “It pretty much doubles the space we have.”

Nelson said the building was purchased for $290,000 — with $255,000 financed over 10 years. Capital and general funds that have accumulated through the years will cover remodeling costs.

The library, which serves much of southern Leavenworth County, likely will move next fall, according to Sue Peavy, library director. The library has been in its rented quarters downtown since 1977 and has rented the space since its inception.

The group Friends of the Linwood Library hopes to raise money for a new library sign. The group plans a family bingo night, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at Linwood Community Center, 302 Main St.


honestlil 8 years, 1 month ago

This Linwood library, that serves around 4,000-5,000 people, I'd guess, will be in a 35,000 square foot building -- and the long-suffering Lawrence Public Library, that serves 90,000 + people, is in less than 50,000 square feet. What is wrong with this picture?

This is crazy. The Lawrence Public Library is overcrowded to the max. I'll say it again - the librarians at our public library are working absolute miracles to do what they do now from such inadequate confines.

We need a new library building - but we have a chance to at least make a significant and worthwhile improvement to the current library with the proposed expansion and renovation project outlined here at Lawrence - join me in supporting the expanded and improved public library. Let's give our fine librarians the resources they need to provide the information and library services our community deserves.

thoughtpolice 8 years, 1 month ago

I agree with honestlil. Lawrence should support its public library. Not sure how that translates to paying for a dinosaur. Library usage continues to increase and there is no indication that the internet is going to replace bricks and mortar libraries anytime soon. On the contrary, more people are relying on the library for internet access and other sources of information. Heck, you can't even apply for a job at some companies without going online.

Consumer1's offhanded dismissal translates to "don't raise my taxes whatever you do...I am so taxed to death." Oh, boo hoo! I am so tired of that old saw. The owner of a $200,000 home sees increase in taxes of $46/year for an institution that provides benefits across a wide spectrum of citizens. If that amount is going to break the bank, the library's free services are definitely a benefit to you and you should support it.

If it isn't an affordability issue, what is it? Are you saying that you don't want your tax dollars to support people who otherwise can't afford to buy their own books or internet access? Understandable, but short-sighted. If that person is using library services to better themselves through a computer class or applying for a job online, doesn't everyone benefit in the long run? Whether it is homework programs for kids, helping someone research a business opportunity, or providing access to meeting space, I think the community benefits. Seems like a deal to me and I pay the same taxes you do.

I say let the voters decide. I'm going to vote YES.

d_prowess 8 years, 1 month ago

I still am waiting for someone to put forth the actual numbers of why a much larger building is needed. As I have said on other stories, it seems all we hear is that the employees there do amazing work and that is then the justification for an increase in size. Do we know that they aren't serving everyone they can? Do we know that use of the library and its services will increase in a proportional rate to the expansion they are asking for? And what metrics do they have to back it up?
I am not as opposed as some are to support an increase in taxes to fund city-wide services, but I expect those tax increases to go towards projects that have facts to support the need. I am not saying there may not be in this case, but it seems like I haven't read any article yet that outlines them.

David Klamet 8 years, 1 month ago

honestil and thoughtpolice, the need for a new, larger library is not apparent to the average person. I consider myself average. We see lots of floor space and lots of old books.

I don't live downtown and I now seldom find a reason to travel downtown to a library that has few modern texts.

I'm not looking for a new building, I'm looking for more, newer books and materials.

I like books. I like libraries. Unfortunately the internet is having an impact on the viability of libraries.

Maybe more specific info needs to be publicized. From what I can see, funding for additional materials, maybe a remodel, and maybe an extension are indicated. Those of us who live far from downtown would like to see BRANCHES! I find it hard to believe that most of those who live far from downtown are going to vote for a new facility.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 1 month ago

"I don't live downtown and I now seldom find a reason to travel downtown to a library that has few modern texts.

I'm not looking for a new building, I'm looking for more, newer books and materials."

Where do you suggest they put these new materials? (there isn't nearly as much empty space as you suggest-- not if you want to leave at least a little for the patrons.) Should all the new materials be in a new space near you, and all the old stuff downtown?

d_prowess 8 years, 1 month ago

But using your logic, wouldn't every library only get bigger and bigger over time as more and more content is added? I had always assumed that there is some sort of cycle for the books a library has so that it can exist within its space.

David Klamet 8 years, 1 month ago

Are we talking about the same library?

Have you been to the stacks in Watson Library? I would suggest something somewhere in the middle of the Watson library stacks and the current density.

Removing many of the outdated books would free up more space.

And putting some books at a branch location(s) would provide even more. Don't see branches in the budget any time soon. But if the library is not for everyone that fact that not everyone lives close to downtown should be considered.

My question then is, is this proposal to provide a useful service for all Lawrence residents? or simply a showcase to impress others? In that case, we can save money on books and put it all into the building. (Sorry for the sarcasm, couldn't help myself).

Unfortunately, a request of this magnitude during the current economic situation sends the message that the advocates are out of touch with reality.

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