Tuesday, February 9, 2010

CFC: no branch libraries

On Feb. 1, the City Council-appointed Capital Facilities Committee voted 8-0 to continue with a single central library in Appleton, rather than to seek to develop any branches. This decision now goes to the Council's Administrative Services Committee, for action on Feb. 10, and then to the full Common Council on Feb. 17, unless referred back to the CFC.

This is the presentation I gave to the Committee, slightly modified to include some of the discussion that accompanied it. This slideshow summarizes the two facility studies from 2008 & 2009, along with the recommendations from the Library Board & staff.


loninappleton said...

I see not much action in here for a while but I have a question and so have put it in comments on the
branch story.

Here is some library news from Madison:


[Hat tip to FoxPolitics.net. Friday March 19]

My question is about the proposed library addition shown in the archtics conception photo is well over 2 stories. One of the new library question sessions said that due to book weight the new building could only be a two story structure.

Why is this different in Madison? Also over time I noticed that the Seely Mudd library-- an extension of the old structure-- is three stories.

Perhaps following these doings in Madison would give some new perspective for Appleton. It talks about the process of buying land as well and how the project has changed from new building to an addition on the existing 45 year old structure. This begs another question: how is the older structure brought up to code? The library study says that after 25 years bringing the building up to code with changes needed would be (as I recall) equivalent to building new. Again, how is Madison dealing with this?

Terry Dawson said...

Lon - there appears to be some misunderstanding. I can't comment about the details of the latest change in Madison, as I know no more than what the article says. But there are many multi-story libraries in the world, and I don't believe anyone ever said we could not build a taller library here. When I worked at Memorial Library in Madison almost 40 years ago, we were dealing with ten levels. But academic libraries are not public libraries, as far as service and staffing.

There are two basic reasons we've only contemplated a two story structure thus far for our project...

1) efficiency: for a new OR remodeled building, fewer floors = fewer separate public areas to supervise, offer assistance & monitor cell phone use = fewer service points = lower staff costs; a big part of what we're trying to achieve is improved efficiency and fewer service desks, because we don't imagine that growth in resources will match growth in demand.

2) structure: in contemplating remodeling our current building, the footings that were poured when this building was put up were made to only hold two stories. Libraries can be more than two stories, but not this building.

Madison does not consult me on engineering and architectural matters. If you want to know more about what Madison is planning, I suggest asking them.

loninappleton said...

Those are good reasons for only two stories. The idea was not to consult Madison or vice versa but to have a local example.

There is also a big flap about a convention center.

If there was a really good and inventive architect, could he make the big floor area needed for the convention display space and put the library the two stories above ground? I have no notion if this sort of mixed use idea could work.

An escalator would take the convention guys to a level below grade and a separate entrance would be for the library. Sound wise and all other variables I do not know if it's feasible.

Just things to keep the discussion going.