Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New Madison Central Library: Build or Renovate?

Link to July 6 Wisconsin State Journal article, "New central library would boost Madison's image, economic development, proponents say".

Excerpt: Despite being in a dated, worn building, demands on the central library are up. From 2003 to 2008, circulation rose from 780,600 to 886,300, visits from 424,000 to 459,800, and computer use leaped 216 percent to 135,900 individual uses.

Now, Madison must decide whether to build new facilities like Minneapolis, with a cost of $139 million, Des Moines, $33 million, Austin, Texas, $90 million, and Seattle, $165 million.

“Madison is one of the most literary, creative, engaged communities in the country,” said Sari Feldman, president-elect of the national Public Library Association who got her master’s degree at UW-Madison. “The Madison public library should be the best library in the United States.”

After months of study, a special committee and the Library Board this spring recommended the
proposal by Fiore and Ingrens Development Partners of Milwaukee to demolish the worn, 95,000-square-foot library on the 200 block of West Mifflin Street and build a 105,000-square-foot facility at the corner of Henry Street and West Washington Avenue.

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