Excerpt: William Robison, a principal partner in Milwaukee-based library consulting firm of Engberg Anderson, told aldermen the city needs a 140,000-square-foot facility in order to meet patron and staffing needs for the next 20 years.
The library is coping with record use, including a record 2,969 patrons on June 10, at its existing 88,000-square-foot facility on Oneida Street.
"Circulation is going through the roof," said Library Board president Terry Bergen. "The need is there for a new facility."
A concept plan endorsed Tuesday by the library board includes a 120-vehicle underground parking garage, 150-seat auditorium, drive-up service, lounge and reading room, numerous public meeting rooms with some open to the public after hours, expanded library material and staff space and room for expansion.
"A library is not inherently just a collection of books. It's a place for people to gather and learn," Robison said.