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Grand Forks Library

Grand Forks Library  

78 members have voted

  1. 1. Are you supporiting the May vote of increasing Grand Forks Sales Tax up 1 percent to 7.75%?

    • Yes
      28
    • No
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    • Maybe
      5


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10 minutes ago, jdub27 said:

Just for comparison, Fargo's library that was built in 2009 was just under 53,000 square feet.

 

But Fargo has three different branches. I never heard a proposal that included a second, smaller branch in Grand Forks. Seems it would be a cheap option if they could find space for reasonable rent instead of building new. It should not impact staffing too much because I believe most are volunteers. 

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24 minutes ago, jdub27 said:

I've never stated the library isn't used, I don't think that has really been an argument that has come up any time in the last few years. And I'd agree that the people using it aren't necessarily using it for traditional library uses, but if the new library is focused on online and electronic resources, as you stated and I agree with, there should be less room required for physical books. So why the need for over 50% more space? I also agree on the parking issue, which is why the downtown option doesn't make much sense. The proposes solution has been some underground parking but I can't imagine that would be real cheap, especially with the proximity to the Red River.

Just for comparison, Fargo's library that was built in 2009 was just under 53,000 square feet.

Real books will never completely go away, at least not in our lifetimes. And 50% more space is reasonable considering Grand Forks is much larger than it was when the current building was built. And they likely will put in more computers and more technology, which will cost money, but is needed to make the library as useful as possible.

You are 100% right about parking and the impracticality of a downtown location. The midtown location is the only one that makes sense for everybody.

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11 minutes ago, fightingsioux4life said:

Real books will never completely go away, at least not in our lifetimes. And 50% more space is reasonable considering Grand Forks is much larger than it was when the current building was built. And they likely will put in more computers and more technology, which will cost money, but is needed to make the library as useful as possible.

You are 100% right about parking and the impracticality of a downtown location. The midtown location is the only one that makes sense for everybody.

I liked the old downtown location.  Unfortunately, there is a parking deck there now.

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14 minutes ago, fightingsioux4life said:

Real books will never completely go away, at least not in our lifetimes. And 50% more space is reasonable considering Grand Forks is much larger than it was when the current building was built. And they likely will put in more computers and more technology, which will cost money, but is needed to make the library as useful as possible.

You are 100% right about parking and the impracticality of a downtown location. The midtown location is the only one that makes sense for everybody.

Grand Forks County population in 1972 - 63,784

Grand Forks County population in 2013 - 69,179

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4 minutes ago, UNDBIZ said:

Grand Forks County population in 1972 - 63,784

Grand Forks County population in 2013 - 69,179

The city is much bigger than it was back in 1972, the county as a whole has lost people in the more rural areas. And people in the city are more likely to use the library on a regular basis.

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City of Grand Forks Population (1970): 39,008

City of Grand Forks Population (2015): 57,011

Which is (drum roll please) a 50% increase. Which makes the 50% increase in the size of the library reasonable.

In closing, that county population figure is always thrown in our faces because it makes it look like people are leaving in droves. The fact is, the streets are as busy as I can remember them.

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11 minutes ago, fightingsioux4life said:

City of Grand Forks Population (1970): 39,008

City of Grand Forks Population (2015): 57,011

Which is (drum roll please) a 50% increase. Which makes the 50% increase in the size of the library reasonable.

In closing, that county population figure is always thrown in our faces because it makes it look like people are leaving in droves. The fact is, the streets are as busy as I can remember them.

But you yourself stated that the library's mission has changed so how can you use the comparison of population as reasoning for an increase when we aren't talking about providing the same services the original library was intended?

Also, the use of County numbers isn't all that inaccurate considering that is the "market" the library serves.

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For the cost of a new library, every person in Grand Forks could be given a brand new laptop.

And the $2,000,000 plus a year it takes to run the current library (how much to run a newer larger one? $4,000,000 a year?) Would buy a lot of wifi throughout town (if not it's entirety.)

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What needs to be looked at is what are the current needs that a new library would provide?  Sure there is still a demand for people to check out books, but what is that demand?  IT was mentioned that many people use the library for internet use.  Well, you don't need to build a huge building the size of the current library downtown.  If internet is the primary use for the library, then build a few internet cafe's around town.  Heck, you could find 4 or 5 open places that already exist for a fraction of the cost it would be to build a new library!!

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Your downtown is the heart and soul of your community. Even more important when your a University Community. Reading how much money is being put into downtowns in Fargo, Bismarck the Twin Cities and many more tells me downtowns are becoming important again. I hope it goes downtown if one is built. Close to Central High School so it can be used alot. And if there was more room downtown would it be asking to much for Central High to have there own practice field and for gym class?  

 

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Is grand forks trying to be Fargo with a new detox and a library downtown? All this is doing is asking for more trouble downtown. Ask anyone in Fargo how it's worked for them.

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1 hour ago, moser53 said:

Your downtown is the heart and soul of your community. Even more important when your a University Community. Reading how much money is being put into downtowns in Fargo, Bismarck the Twin Cities and many more tells me downtowns are becoming important again. I hope it goes downtown if one is built. Close to Central High School so it can be used alot. And if there was more room downtown would it be asking to much for Central High to have there own practice field and for gym class?  

 

As someone mentioned earlier, there already is a library downtown.  Three blocks east of the river sits the EGF library...

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1 hour ago, Siouxperfan7 said:

What needs to be looked at is what are the current needs that a new library would provide?  Sure there is still a demand for people to check out books, but what is that demand?  IT was mentioned that many people use the library for internet use.  Well, you don't need to build a huge building the size of the current library downtown.  If internet is the primary use for the library, then build a few internet cafe's around town.  Heck, you could find 4 or 5 open places that already exist for a fraction of the cost it would be to build a new library!!

Funny how Government always costs $ or loses $ If a good business person wants to build something they  (like take a strip mall) make it big enough & rent out that extra space so basically they get the whole thing paid for or even make $ - I think u get the idea

Heck Internet coffee houses would be cool & could offset the expense of a Library -  Maybe 1/2 of the building is a bookstore like Barnes & nobles that sell books - or things of that nature 

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3 hours ago, jdub27 said:

But you yourself stated that the library's mission has changed so how can you use the comparison of population as reasoning for an increase when we aren't talking about providing the same services the original library was intended?

Also, the use of County numbers isn't all that inaccurate considering that is the "market" the library serves.

We'll need more room to put computers that people are going to want to use.  There also are movies that people can check out (educational and entertainment); we'll need room for that. Maybe some private reading and/or meeting rooms people can check out; that would be useful as well. Also, the library hosts children's reading programs and other events. And like I have said before, books are not going to totally go away.

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1 hour ago, Fetch said:

Funny how Government always costs $ or loses $ If a good business person wants to build something they  (like take a strip mall) make it big enough & rent out that extra space so basically they get the whole thing paid for or even make $ - I think u get the idea

Heck Internet coffee houses would be cool & could offset the expense of a Library -  Maybe 1/2 of the building is a bookstore like Barnes & nobles that sell books - or things of that nature 

"Gummint" isn't supposed to make money. You shouldn't run government like a business and you shouldn't run business like a government. They serve two totally different functions. And libraries are places where everyone can go and have access to books, movies, computers, etc. without having to pay some outrageous admission fee or club membership. How would all the golf enthusiasts on this forum like it if all golf courses were expensive, private clubs and therefore out of the price range of most ordinary people?

Having said all that, the idea of having a coffee house or some kind of complimentary business attached to the library is a solid idea and it is something I have not heard anyone mention. It could help defray some of the costs of the library (both construction costs and future on-going maintenance and overhead). Does someone want to write a letter to the Heraldo to float this idea?

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I said yrs ago back when the homeless were a big issue to sell all the public golf courses & provide housing for all :D

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4 hours ago, Cratter said:

For the cost of a new library, every person in Grand Forks could be given a brand new laptop.

And the $2,000,000 plus a year it takes to run the current library (how much to run a newer larger one? $4,000,000 a year?) Would buy a lot of wifi throughout town (if not it's entirety.)

What happens in 3 years when those laptops start to fall apart (probably sooner)? Does everyone get another new laptop?

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4 hours ago, jdub27 said:

But you yourself stated that the library's mission has changed so how can you use the comparison of population as reasoning for an increase when we aren't talking about providing the same services the original library was intended?

Also, the use of County numbers isn't all that inaccurate considering that is the "market" the library serves.

One of the big reasons for needing a larger library is to display the current materials in a way that meets ADA requirements and is usable by more people. Wheelchairs can't get down some of the aisles, people using crutches or walkers can have trouble. Even parents with strollers probably have trouble in spots. The aisles are just too narrow. The shelves are much too high for people in wheelchairs, or even for kids. They're probably too high for anyone under 6 feet tall. The bathrooms aren't even close to ADA compliant and they are probably too small to make them compliant. The current library is grandfathered in and doesn't have to completely meet ADA requirements as long as they don't make any changes. Any renovations done would have to meet ADA, as would any new construction.

So computers and other electronic services need more room, current materials need more room, and they still add new materials. That explains a large part of the increase in size. They are also looking at better meeting space for better programs. They currently have problems hosting kids reading programs because of space. They have tried to add other programming for a variety of groups, but space is often one of the big issues. They originally had 2 meeting rooms upstairs, but they are using one of them for office space to replace space that now houses computers on the main floor. The only meeting room holds 25-30 people.

Rural residents in the county are part of the market for the library, but they use the facility at a lower rate than city residents. People living in Larimore aren't normally going to the Grand Forks library as often as someone living on Cherry Street in Grand Forks.

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1 hour ago, 82SiouxGuy said:

What happens in 3 years when those laptops start to fall apart (probably sooner)? Does everyone get another new laptop?

You got a new laptop, you get a new laptop....the $2,000,000 it costs to run the library a year would buy a new computer every year for 12% of the entire Grand Forks population....or better yet 70% of residents can get a new Amazon Fire Tablet every year.

http://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Fire-7-Inch-Tablet-8GB/dp/B00TSUGXKE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1464233501&sr=8-2&keywords=amazon+kindle

98% of Grand Forks residents already have internet access. 

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12 hours ago, 82SiouxGuy said:

One of the big reasons for needing a larger library is to display the current materials in a way that meets ADA requirements and is usable by more people. Wheelchairs can't get down some of the aisles, people using crutches or walkers can have trouble. Even parents with strollers probably have trouble in spots. The aisles are just too narrow. The shelves are much too high for people in wheelchairs, or even for kids. They're probably too high for anyone under 6 feet tall. The bathrooms aren't even close to ADA compliant and they are probably too small to make them compliant. The current library is grandfathered in and doesn't have to completely meet ADA requirements as long as they don't make any changes. Any renovations done would have to meet ADA, as would any new construction.

So computers and other electronic services need more room, current materials need more room, and they still add new materials. That explains a large part of the increase in size. They are also looking at better meeting space for better programs. They currently have problems hosting kids reading programs because of space. They have tried to add other programming for a variety of groups, but space is often one of the big issues. They originally had 2 meeting rooms upstairs, but they are using one of them for office space to replace space that now houses computers on the main floor. The only meeting room holds 25-30 people.

Rural residents in the county are part of the market for the library, but they use the facility at a lower rate than city residents. People living in Larimore aren't normally going to the Grand Forks library as often as someone living on Cherry Street in Grand Forks.

I don't think anyone disputes the issues with the current library, particularly the ADA issues. Something clearly needs to be done to address that. My overall opinion on the matter comes from people I've talked to about what is proposed and those in favor have done what I feel is a poor job selling on their vision, mainly because they can't decide exactly what they want and more specifically where. I have no issues with the thought of "If you are going to build it, build it right" but that doesn't mean it needs to be extravagant or over the top, especially considering it is being funded by taxpayers. Here's the breakdown of what is being proposed:
Entry & Marketplace - 3,300 SF
Customer Service - 800 SF
Meeting Rooms / Collaboration Labs - 4,300 SF
Adult’s Library - 14,000 SF
Teen’s Library - 2,100 SF
Children’s Library - 5,900 SF
Administration & Staff - 3,300 SF 
Mech/Elec Utility - 10,800 SF

All of that adds up to 44,500 SF, leaving another 13,500 for bathrooms and I'm not sure what else.

Here is a rough breakdown of what the current library has:
Public Service Area -18,928 SF
Children's Area - 1,400 SF
Library Office Space - 676 SF
Meeting Room & Story Room - 1,275 SF
Grand Forks Room - 150 SF
Board Room - 676 SF
Mail order & interlibrary loan area - 1,416 SF
Electronic Library - 1,772 SF
Cataloging, processing, & overdues - 312 SF

Those total 26,605, leaving an additional 10,810 square feet not listed

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13 hours ago, fightingsioux4life said:

We'll need more room to put computers that people are going to want to use.  There also are movies that people can check out (educational and entertainment); we'll need room for that. Maybe some private reading and/or meeting rooms people can check out; that would be useful as well. Also, the library hosts children's reading programs and other events. And like I have said before, books are not going to totally go away.

They are adding additional computers. They already have the movie stuff and it really doesn't take up much room. Books aren't going away, but the trend is away from them. The amount of physical books you need on hand is decreasing (and this is from someone who prefers an actual book over reading electronically). With technology and inter-library loans, you also shouldn't need to have all books available on hand. People may have to wait a few days to get their books, but that is nothing new.

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Me in the library at Lewis and Clark Elementary about 20 some years ago, a young Cratter wasnt paying attention to the librarian during the learning of the Dewey decimal system days. She wasn't happy and claimed "This is important stuff! You'll need to know it for the rest of your life!" And then computers came out to search the data base....which begs the question how did one know what books were on hand and the subjects before computers? Big indexes on hand?...maybe I should have paid attention as I'd know more about "history." Lol

"Dad what's that old adandoned building? That use to be what was called a library: a house of books...people used to read them on paper..and that building? Used to be a place to rent VHS tapes..."VHS tapes?." :D

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10 hours ago, jdub27 said:

They are adding additional computers. They already have the movie stuff and it really doesn't take up much room. Books aren't going away, but the trend is away from them. The amount of physical books you need on hand is decreasing (and this is from someone who prefers an actual book over reading electronically). With technology and inter-library loans, you also shouldn't need to have all books available on hand. People may have to wait a few days to get their books, but that is nothing new.

 

But you also have collaboration spaces and makerspaces (which are actually really cool). 

 

With the square footage listing that you have above, does any of that include storage and/or work areas?  Work area would be a place besides offices.  I haven't talked with the GF staff lately, so I don't remember for sure.

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