Aberdeen’s New Library Open House

Aberdeen’s New Library Open House!

Aberdeen-Library

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Come on out to the library located at 519 Kline St. on Tuesday, July 21st and Wednesday, July 22nd between 4:00-6:00 pm. There will be floor and design plans shown of the new library for the community to be able to come in and look at. Along with that, there will also be representatives from the Library Foundation Board and the Library Board of Trusties on hand that will be able to answer any questions or talk through concerns considering the new library. 

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Libraries Are Not Just For The Best Sellers: Reference Librarians

Check out this blog post that explains why libraries are not just for the best sellers and the importance of reference librarians in our libraries.

“Get away from the top 10 best sellers and find something new…

One recent Saturday morning I woke up and our toilet didn’t work. My first instinct was to get The Mr. to come fix it, but he works nights and had just gotten home so I wanted to let him sleep. I loaded my kids into the car and we walked into our local Lowe’s store. The first associate I asked for help didn’t know what I needed, but he walked me to the plumbing counter where I proceeded to ask for “the thingy in the toilet behind the thingy.” And yes, I really did say thingy twice. After he asked me a few questions he knew exactly what I needed and we got the part. I even somewhat successfully replaced it myself when I got home, although that is not the point of this story, the customer service at Lowe’s is.

Not too long ago a man came into my library wearing slacks, a button up shirt and a tie. He signed up to use a computer, which sits right next to the Reference Desk where I sit. After a few minutes working he started asking me some questions. It turns out that he was recently laid off and he was trying to apply for jobs. So we began talking resumes. He asked if he needed…Read mor

Saving Our Public Libraries in a Paperless World

Just because our lives are becoming more and more focused on technology, does not mean that our libraries are becoming less important.

Check out this article “Saving Our Public Libraries in a Paperless World”

“Just because we can go paperless does not mean that we should…

With all the emphasis lately on paperless, ebooks, the Internet, and so on, it may seem that the humble community library that we all grew up with is under attack. But there’s plenty of evidence that the library is changing with the times and has as big a role in our society as ever—and it’s getting some staunch defenders. We wanted to do our part.

Faced with tight budgets and cutbacks, local and state governments have been cutting library budgets, even as the economy is improving. Some detractors are even saying…Read more 

We Can Not Lose Our Libraries

Libraries are a vital resource for many people. Not everyone has access to internet, books, quiet study spaces, etc at home. The library allows everyone free access to all of these; we can not lose our libraries.

“If we are not careful we could lose much more than just a library building…

Public libraries in America are under attack. If we’re not careful, we could lose one of our nation’s most valuable learning and community resources.

In an American Library Association (ALA) survey of 7,260 public libraries on public usage and funding for the budget year 2011-2012, 57% of participating libraries reported that their funding was flat or decreased. Twenty-three states cut funding for public libraries – the third year in a row that 40% of states did so.

No doubt one reason for this erosion of financial support for public libraries is that we live in…Read more

Take Your Child to the Library

Libraries are great for children, and it is not just because this a place where they can learn to read.

Read more and see why you should take your child to the library!

“I learned to print my name almost before I could read it — for the sole purpose of getting my own library card. I was so young I had to stand on tiptoe to see over the check-out desk and hand the librarian my application. When the librarian, in turn, handed me a library card with my own name typed on it — not my mother’s — I was ecstatic. I literally wore out the card in a few months, off and running toward becoming a lifelong reader.

Recognizing the role the library played in my becoming a book lover (and a career children’s editor), I herded my kids into the library as soon as they could toddle. Libraries had changed a lot, of course, but — just as I did — my kids quickly felt at home there. The children’s librarian came to know them, helped them select books, and, even better, encouraged them to also choose their own books. Libraries have played such an essential role in our family that I’m almost gobsmacked when…Read more

Don’t forget about the library

Google and the internet can not teach us everything we need to know.

Also, what if this so sacred internet access is not available to you? The library is the great equalizer and source of education in our communities. Don’t forget about the library!

“Libraries are at risk because we have forgotten how essential they are. In the era of Google and Amazon, those with means can access information with greater ease and speed than ever before. As a consequence, in cities and towns across the world the same debate rages each year when budget time rolls around: What’s the purpose of a library in a digital age? Put more harshly, why should we spend tax dollars, in tough economic times, on a library when our readers can instantly get so much of what they need and want from the Internet? As the bulk of funding for police, fire departments, and schools – all necessary services – has become the responsibility of state and local governments, municipal leaders have been forced to ask a question that library supporters aren’t prepared to answer: are libraries necessary?

We keep having this debate because we have a very simplistic and skewed idea of why libraries matter. For most of us, libraries are good for one thing: getting information.

But most information today can be readily accessed in digital form, through computers or smartphones. How many times recently have you had a debate with a friend, only to resolve the dispute within seconds…Read more

Proposed Floor Plan for Aberdeen’s New Public Library

After much discussion, meeting, planning, and studying, here is the proposed floor plan for Aberdeen’s New Public Library. It is all on one level now, with a large, interactive children’s area that opens up to an outdoor play area of over 800 square feet. Teens will have a dedicated space and the adult area will be enormous, wide open and full of natural light. Most unique is the multipurpose kitchen area that will be great for demonstrations and classes. Take a look!

Library Oblique

Once the construction documents are finished, the Aberdeen City Council will vote to advertise for bids. When the bids come in, and they are within the targeted budget, the city council will again vote to finance and construct the new library. This could all take place by this fall. Construction could start in spring of 2016.

Many are asking how they can help. Write letters to the American News, and city councilors. Visit the city council at 5:30 on Monday evenings to speak in support of the new library. There is a public forum at the beginning of each council meeting. Just sign in and say a few quick words about how you use the library and how much better Aberdeen will be with a new, modern facility (or say what you like!). We want to keep positive momentum going forward.

During this time frame, the Library Foundation will be raising $2.1 million to help the city afford the $8 million total project. Yes, money will need to be raised. We will be asking the Aberdeen public and business community to support the cause. If possible, get your place of employment to mount a donation from employees, get your social clubs to contribute, have day care kids save their pennies. We hope to raise a substantial portions from area foundations and key individuals, but we want everyone to have chance to be a part of the Beyond Books Campaign. You don’t need anyone’s permission to raise money, but just keep us in the loop. We may have some prizes or swag we can offer.

More details to come on the floor plan for Aberdeen’s new public library.

Your New Aberdeen Public Library Answers

Is the new library going to be the same size as the current library? The new library will have over 28,000 square feet of usable indoor and outdoor space. The current library is about 15,000 on the main floor, most all of which is jammed packed. The basement is about the same square footage, however only about 6,000 square feet is usable for library programming. The new library will be all on one floor so there will be no wasted space for stairwells or duplicitous utilities.

Is the new library a waste of money? No. The new library will be like the aquatics center, the downtown Streetscape, the YMCA, Swisher Field, the ARCC, and the Police Station, which are all recent additions to our city that have helped attract new companies and residents to town. Even if the new library is not built, your taxes will not be reduced, nor will you receive a refund. It is being funded with existing sales tax revue which is continually coming into the city. The new library, along with these other successes, contributes to a progressive quality of life for everyone living in the Aberdeen area. Anything that enhances our quality of life and educational opportunities is not a waste of money, especially when it’s funded with existing tax revenue. Read how our library is used.

What’s wrong with our current library? The current library has no more room to grow. It was not designed for computers and now we have no room to add more. The bathrooms are not ADA compliant, restricting access to some. There is no more room to add materials. In fact, our collection has been kept artificially low due to insufficient space to house everything required for a growing community. Our library offerings are less per capita when compared to other South Dakota towns. This is due to usable space, layout, and infrastructure. Plus, flooding from the roof, the windows and the basement may jeopardize the investment in our collection and non-replaceable historic ephemera and books…Read More

In the age of technology, why do we even need libraries?  Just because books and documents are offered online, that does not mean they will be free or that a person would be able to access the whole thing. Along with that, access to the internet is not always free. There are many people who do not have internet in their home and go to the library to pay their bills, shop online, or just check out their Facebook. The library is also more than just books, offer different classes, access to clubs, and many other things that the internet cannot offer… Watch this video to learn more

When do we get to vote on the library? There is no vote required to build the new library. The public can refer the decision to a public vote after the city council agrees to build the new library. The city council cannot bring the decision to a public vote.

When will the new library be built? The new library is scheduled to break ground in 2016 and will probably open in the spring of 2017.

What is the status of the process? The city council has approved the funding of the new library. Next is construction bids then ground breaking.

Why don’t we spend the money on roads instead? The new library will be paid for with a 20-year bond. The bond payment will be between $400,000-$500,00 per year. Presently the city of Aberdeen spends over $7 million PER YEAR on our roads. We can get a brand new, $8 million library in one year.

Will my taxes go up? No, the new library will be paid for with money earned from sales tax revenue. This revenue funds a major portion of Aberdeen’s improvements each year and the bond payment of $400,000+ will come out of this fund. The YMCA will be paid off and the amount for the bond payment for that will be reallocated to the new library. Funds will not be taken away from any other need in our community. No new taxes are required to build this. And even if it isn’t built, no one will receive a tax credit, nor will taxes go down.

Where will the new library be built? Land has already been purchased for the new library. It is located on one entire city block surrounded by Washington Street, 4th Avenue SE, Jay Street and 3rd Avenue SE, directly east of the Federal Building.

How much will the new library cost? The new library is budgeted to cost $8 million. The Foundation will donate $2.1 million towards that to reduce the city’s contribution and to help create a durable, well-designed facility that will serve Aberdeen for generations. The City’s cost is about $5.9 million, the Foundation wanted to ensure an amazing facility so a $2.1 million challenge was added to allow the business and citizens of Aberdeen to help in this effort.

How can I donate to the new Aberdeen Public Library? All forms of financial gifts to the Beyond Books campaign are welcome. This includes cash, real estate, farmland, bonds and stocks. Pick up a pledge form at the library or contact Library Foundation President, Troy McQuillen at 226-3481 to learn about making a gift.

Why can’t we remodel the current library? The basement would have to be rebuilt, the roof replaced, all the windows replaced, all the bathrooms re-engineered, the HVAC would be re-engineered and rebuilt, all the offices moved, all the wiring would be redone, and more space would have to be added. If every single problem was fixed in our new library and every square inch of the basement was utilized, we would potentially attract a lot more people. However, the parking lot can only accommodate about 60 cars, which would once again, limit access to the library, not the point of an improved facility. An adjacent building would need to be purchased for parking. The costs may exceed the $5.9 million the city is currently committing to the project. The new library will have spaces for 100 cars as well as lots of street parking. The total costs associated with a remodel would be extensive, and yet we’d still have to use the basement, which is not an inspiring place to learn, meet, and connect.

How We Used Our Library- the Numbers

Straight facts: the numbers

  • 123,210 Patron Visits
  • 51,880 Reference Transactions
  • 65,997 Magazine and other items check-out
  • 38,867 Ebook and other electronic item check outs
  • 13,818 Youth and Adults registered for programs
  • 146,400 Book check-outs
  • 7,165 Registered library card holders
  • 2,880 one-to-one assistance program sessions
  • 53,000+ Technology uses (30 minutes computer/laptop/tablet sessions
  • 343 Youth and adult programs
  • 256,044 Total number of items circulated in 2014
  • Library Patrons on average consist 20% of visitors to Aberdeen