A citizen proposal is floating about two have two libraries, one in the village and one at the town hall, in the hopes that it will settle the location issue of where to put a new library once and for all. The idea does have some merit, a Solomon like solution to the issue of library ownership, however it may end up killing the baby.
Unless the taxpayers vote in favor of supporting two buildings,purchasing two copies of every single title and paying more staff, splitting the library in two will result in reduced services and hours. We’ve been trying to consolidate our efforts with the recreation department to save taxpayer money, not create more spending. The distance between the village and town hall is a distance of two miles, easy driving or biking. Perhaps money should be spent finding ways to link the two areas of activity with a bike path.
I’m just saying.
This is going to be a whiny post, so just prepare yourself.
In the past years we’ve had several calls to the library and to the town supervisor about purchasing a bike rack. Finally I broke down and spent the $300 required to get one, trying to be responsive to the community’s needs and all, then the staff and I put it together and placed it. Keep in mind that all of us are female and mostly over 40 and this thing is large and metal.
On the very first day it was up, an adult rode their bike to the library and bypassed the lovely new bike rack to park her bike right in front on the doors. I had to remind her that we had a wonderful bike rack and could she please use it. Today I was outside and only two out of the five bikes were parked in the rack.
People just defy logic sometimes, but I guess it’s just too much effort to properly park your bike or lock it. Contrary to popular belief, Hilton is not a crime free zone and those unlocked bicycles are going to prove to be a temptation to someone.
With gas prices so high, used bikes are a pretty hot ticket, just so you are aware…
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.
The results of the community survey came out and the issues of interest to most people seem to be parking and cost to develop the site for the community center/library project.
I think the survey will not be given much weight because people were not given enough time to participate. It was done by a volunteer (Sarah Warmbrodt) as a project for college and had to adhere to her professor’s timeline for grading. It seemed like a pretty thorough and well organized survey though and was presented in a very professional manner.
We have a copy in the library for the public to view in case you are interested.
We are over flowing with donations! I’m not sure where people are getting all these books, but we are swamped. Thanks for for thinking of us! We’ve managed to add a few to the collection, but we really don’t need 50 copies of the latest Danielle Steel. Luckily for us, the Friends of the Parma Public Library have a used bookstore now right across the street.
Mainly Books is located at 24 Main St. in Hilton. Since it is a strictly volunteer operation their hours are
Monday 10-1 and 4-7
They are always looking for more volunteers to help sort the books and man the store. All proceeds help the library to buy fun things our regular budget doesn’t cover.
The community center project is on again!
At a joint meeting between the town and village boards, the green light was given to reopen our study of a joint library and community center. Even better, a possible site has been offered for donation by Joe Sciortino! 10 acres located next to the Unionville Station complex on Rt. 259 just north of Burritt Rd.
Having tried and failed to secure a site within the village large enough for the combined facility this donation would allow us to build as close as possible. Literally right where the sidewalk ends. Public water and sewers within easy distance would certainly cut building costs.
For more details on the meeting check out the February 3rd edition of the Suburban News.
A complete stop? Maybe, maybe not. Who knows what the future holds for the community center/library expansion project? But for now the project is on hold.
The costs of the combined project were estimated to be $160 per $100,000 of assessed value and the Town Board had concerns about hiking the tax rate that much. The location issue came up again, when the current community center was taken off the table as a suitable site for the project, this left the Town Hall complex as the sole building site and the Library Board had strong reservations about the Library going that far outside the village.
So the roller coaster has stopped for a moment and we can all catch our breath and decide if we want to ride it again.