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Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009 | I have read all the articles, editorials and rationales for constructing an extravagant downtown library and now a “schoobrary.” None of them have convinced me that this is the best approach for a central library. Now this potential folly has a construction tag of $194.5 million.
I recognize that the central library is an old and tired structure and should be replaced. However, I have not seen any current data for this library’s day-to-day operations to validate it’s expansion into a mega-structure. This critical information has undoubtedly changed since initial assessment studies were undertaken.
Perhaps someone could provide me and other readers with the central library’s current patronage and operations facts. How many people use this facility each day? How many use computers? Research materials? How many enter/leave to use the restrooms or drinking fountains? What are the peak hours? How many books are checked out daily/monthly/yearly? How many books are circulated to branch libraries? What is the circulation volume for all branch libraries in comparison? How many new patrons does the library anticipate in 2020? How many schoobrary students?
The updated answers to these questions would certainly be helpful to the city’s taxpayers and our city council. If this schoobrary is built exactly who will patronize it? Or will it sit empty?