Recently the question was asked, why do you need a new library? What brought the town board to even consider the matter?
Our circulation of items has increased 14% between 2004 and 2007.
The number of library card holders in that same time has increased by 5%, currently about 9536. 60% of Parma/Hilton residents have a library card.
Our computer use has increased by a whopping 218% !!!
The American Library Association has a set of guidelines for building size according to population, usually about 1 sq ft per capita. The population in the Town of Parma is about 15,000, our building is currently about 8,000 sq ft.
The Library does not own the parking lot, it belongs to the Methodist Church. On an average day we have about 300 visits to the Library and there are only 43 spaces available between us and the church.
Anyone who has spent any time in the library knows the lack of elbow room is a big factor. We have not been able to host larger programs because of fire codes, the staff have to navigate around a series of obstacles to do their jobs and there isn’t just a good comfy place for people to settle in and hang out. We don’t even have space for a public copier.
All this activity is squeezed into a space that the community has clearly outgrown. Thus, we are attempting to get a new building. The thought behind partnering with the community center is that a two for one building will be cheaper in the long run, especially when you consider maintenance costs.
There you have it, in a nutshell.