Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Portage Public Library Seeks Community Input for Library Expansion

Link to January 12 Portage Daily Register article, "Input will be sought before library expands".

Excerpt: Portage Public Library board members have talked for months about the idea of adding another 6,000 square feet to the 15-year-old library building. Sometime in the next few months, Portage residents might be asked for their input about how the library's space and resources, existing or future, ought to be used.

Space for an expansion to the Edgewater Street building would come from an adjacent lot occupied by a vacant brick house built in 1865; board member Karen Kaiser has said city engineers told her the house is sound enough to be moved. It also could be razed.

What might be done with additional space is another question.

"Until we know what the community wants and needs and have something to offer them ... it almost seems we're starting the conversation ahead of where we are in the actual plan," said library director Shannon Stiller. "My objective is to make sure the library fits the needs of the community."

"I think we need the space," Stiller said. ‘I want to see the expansion happen."

But, she said, residents' wishes must be known before planning for the use of that space begins in earnest. To that end, in Tuesday's library board meeting, Stiller said she would put together a program to assess residents' needs and wishes as well as a time line for how future action toward an expansion might proceed.

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