A New Library in Central Brisbane
Our current library is heavily used but can not handle all the demands on it. We should build a new larger library that meets modern library standards. A new space could have a larger collection of materials, space for library sponsored events, a place for young people to gather and not disturb those that are looking for a quiet space, and much more.
The former 5 Star Cafe site, directly across the street from the current library, has been identified as the location for the new Brisbane Library. The City recently received $300,000 from the County’s Measure A funds to help cover building and design fees. This Thursday, 4/7, the City Council will be considering an Agreement for Professional Services for Design of the new Library. Link to the agenda can be found here: http://brisbaneca.org/city-council-meeting-9 (New Business item B.
Years ago the plan was to expand the library to the downstairs area of the Community Center. I feel population won't grow much more because of our topography. There is access to great library materials through the Peninsula Library System. One can use their card, go to another library or use online for obtaining reading materials, etc. No one has ever mentioned what the monthly circulation of library materials are, that too is important. It is now centrally located and in a prime spot in Brisbane, why move it down the street a bit?
Tony Verreos commented
If we need more library space, why not just let the Library expand right where it is? We can double the space by moving all community center activities to our new community center at Mission Blue. Some public facilities are always booked, but others are not.
Maximizing use is the more sustainable approach.
Its also some 15 years past when we should have moved to bring together both sides of Brisbane. The center is nearer Valley Dr.
Tony Verreos commented
I'm not sure how far down the road this issue is in planning? So please forgive me if my comments are out of date.
1> I agree with the general idea of updating and improving public
library services, but feel it needs to be sustainably balanced:
The big difference between a public library and other libraries
(public schools and private schools etc.) is the librarian as an
asset, and possibly available technology and the other learning
programs parents appreciate so much.
2> Not having read the studies Michael Shumann cited, I've never
heard or read anything that supports a public library as economic
engine. I think that is the weakest of arguments for doing it.
3> I would not vote for a library, or day school next to a bar. The
Eagles are a good community group, but their club's central
feature is a bar. I'm fine with drinking, but it can set a bad
example for kids, so I'd use that location for other retail.
4> The current location is fine. The obvious solution is to allow the
Library to take over the whole building and remodel it right where
it is. That would double capacity, it's already ADA compliant,
and it would allow for greater use of the park out back for craft
use by kids.
5> My understanding of the opposition to that is all of the other
groups that currently use the downstairs community center, and
the answer to all of them is relocating their activities to other facilities.
6> Brisbane is growing, and its always hard to accurately plan for that growth not
knowing how many homes we will have, and how many adults and children.
7> Mission Blue rightly should become our new Community Center. It also has the
capacity to be used by more then one group at the same time, and it can be
expanded significantly both East and South to enlarge meeting spaces and the
Michael Schumann commented
There are a number of studies showing that public libraries contribute to the economic well-being of their community.
To quote a study by The Urban Institute:
"Public libraries build a community’s capacity for economic activity and resiliency. Many families and caregivers rely on the library to provide important pre- school reading and learning. Many people entering the workforce rely on libraries to get them online. Local businesses are increasingly tapping into the library’s online databases to keep themselves competitive and to find synergistic new business opportunities. Library facilities often anchor downtown and commercial developments, and are attractive neighborhood amenities." [http://www.urban.org/uploadedpdf/1001075_stronger_cities.pdf]
A long list of other studies/reports: http://pld.dpi.wi.gov/pld_econimpact
Michael Barnes commented
I support a new library, but it is not economic development. It is quality of life development. A new library's economic impact will be at the same scale as the new play structure's - negligible.
Anjana Richards commented
Great idea - my question is around the same thing that's discussed with everything else - what size library does a town of this size support? If anyone knows of studies or info from the library system, let me know, thanks!!
Michael Schumann commented
I have been asked how this helps economic well being of our town....
I can think of a number of ways:
- a new Library will help "energize" downtown Brisbane; it will feel more alive
- if the library went in next to the Eagles club, it would fix up a blighted section of town
- the more visitors to downtown, the more people who might frequent businesses
Emma Thomson commented
I'm sure kids and adults alike, would benefit from a larger space to gather and to learn!
Bonnie Boswell Diaz commented
I love the arts and crafts that get my kids in there. Then they pick out a handful of books before we leave!