By Denise Ard, Director, North Valley Public Library
If you are a regular user of the library, you know that we have an old threadbare red carpet held together with duct tape, covering a squeaky uneven floor causing a tripping hazard.
You probably also noticed that our library is noisy and the designated “quiet area” in the back of the library is not sufficient. You may have come in wanting to have a small private conference and found there were no small private conference rooms. Or that the children’s area is too close to the computers and that it is hard to concentrate and work when kids are playing. If you’re a teen or parent you might have noticed we have teen books, but not a teen area.
Perhaps you noticed the cement poles you have to avoid to access the adult stacks which were installed with shims to keep the sagging ceiling from falling down.
You probably were not aware though that the upstairs is not habitable and engineers have said that the public could not be up there and that we cannot even use it for storage because staff should not be up there either. You might not have realized that programming staff have to work in cramped converted restrooms or that we do not have enough workstations or library storage.
If you are in a wheelchair, or know someone that has a physical aliment, it may have struck you as more than a little odd that the emergency exit out the back is not accessible.
The community is getting bigger and we have no room to grow. These are the negatives.
The library’s Board if Trustees has for many years been tracking the community and the needs of the current physical facility in keeping with the goals of their strategic plan. The current structure is not sufficient, but what to do about it? Would it be cost effective to tear down and rebuild part of it? Or sell it and move to another location? Maybe some other option? The Board asked the Director what was needed in a library. The Director compiled theFacilities Plan. You can read the Facilities Plan on our website at northvalleylibrary.org/facilities-plan
Now that we have the plan, the Board recently decided they cannot make any more decisions unless they have a cost analysis of the different options. This what is called an architectural assessment or a Preliminary Architectural Report (PAR). This is the first step to a major renovation or a new construction, and the board will be advertising for proposals from architectural firms in the coming months.