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Should the city expand the public library downtown, or should it build a satellite branch in another part of Lawrence?

Response Percent Votes
Build a satellite branch
36% 224
Expand downtown
31% 196
30% 185
1% 10
Total 615


redwaggoner 10 years, 9 months ago

Wiith all the computers available today and with at least one in nearly every home (I have two), one can find the answer top any question they might have at the push of a button. The purpose of a library used to be research, finding answers to students term papers etc., and for "casual" reading. Unless the current library has added thousands of volumes of literature that cannot be found on the internet, then I suggest the money could be spent on other needed infrastructure..better streets & roads for a start. I'm also sure the Police & Foire departments would like to have raises & better/newer equipment. A pretty, new(er) building should be the last thing needed. Support the police and fire depts. These people put their lives on the line for the citizens of Lawrence every day.

Godot 10 years, 9 months ago

Why not start by buying more books and hiring more people, and engaging a cleaning service? That would cost a lot less than $30million, and would be a huge improvement.

Folks, the $30 million dollar expansion proposal is outrageous and completely out of proportion.

I am very suspicious of the meetings behind closed doors that Hack admits are happening. We must demand transparency; we must demand adherence to the open meetings law.

ontheotherhand 10 years, 9 months ago

Redwaggoner, the purpose of a University library is research. If you are 7 years old, or if you are a non-student who likes to read but doesn't want to buy the book, then a City library is for reading.

I have always been amazed by the fact that Lawrence does not have any satellite branches. One of my fondest childhood memories was of mom taking us kids to the library to get tons of books to read. We would go to the smaller libraries near our home; the real treat was to go to the main branch downtown. Whatever happened to those Mobile Libraries, the vans that carried tons of books? Having so many books made me (and my siblings) good readers and excellent spellers. The libraries were a great investment in our futures (of course, this was pre-computer and computer games).

I wish they would open satellite branches in North Lawrence and East Lawrence (near 23rd and Harper), and keep the current location downtown.

Currahee 10 years, 9 months ago

Godot, the point of having a new library is because the older one is getting too small. I've worked there, and you don't even need to work there to see how much more room is needed. If people just want an "average" library then fine, leave the library the way it is. Our performance is still good when it comes to re-shelving books, but sooner or later we're gonna reach a point where we just can't hire new employees because of the small workroom we have. With each and every year that passes, more and more books are being checked out. You may have seen large gaps in the book collection and you may think, "There's tons of space here!" but it means a lot of people have checked those books out. We can't add more because if they return those books then we would be in serious trouble with space. It may not appear like it but the library is almost full right now. It's difficult to re-shelve books, and that's when we bring out the overflow carts and the massive shelf shifting project. The library is, essentially, sitting on a time bomb. Some, if not most of the books that are donated are put up for sale because the library just can't handle all of the donations. It's nice, but there isn't any room to put it all up!

With that being said, building a new library or a branch might be cheaper, but then I think the original one really does deserve to get an upgrade. The potential here is that people may go to the newer one instead of the old one. Just because it's newer... yeah.

Sigmund 10 years, 9 months ago

Fix the streets, take care of the sewers, pay the police and fire. THEN if you have money leftover, by all means purchase a vacant building and retrofit it as a library branch. Or you can ask the voters for a sales tax increase.

What part of this is so f'ing hard to understand???

Sigmund 10 years, 9 months ago

LD, my guess is the builders are pushing this pretty hard down the new Commissioners throats and asking them to swallow. We will see if they are just their beaches and hoes or if they have the spine to tell their campaign money, "No."

Nate Poell 10 years, 9 months ago

In fact, redwaggoner, the library does have an immense amount of information that is not available via Google or other search engines. They're research databases the library subscribes to, and they're phenomenally useful. I recommend that you check out the library's website for the full list (

Kookamooka 10 years, 9 months ago

Don't forget vents and fans and a system by which lovely fragrances could be pumped into the ventilation system would be nice, especially for the musky basement.

lunacydetector 10 years, 9 months ago

why does the city have to build anything for a satellite library? they should lease some of the vacant office space that litters our town. there wouldn't be as much upfront cost.

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