Library space expert Anders Dahlgren is scheduled to visit Belleville on Wednesday, Sept. 26, to talk about library space needs for a new building, but the time and location is yet to be determined.
That was the message to the public at the July 10 meeting of the Belleville Area District Library Board.
The library board hopes to get use of the Belleville High School’s new mini-auditorium, which seats 92, or the main auditorium, which seats around 400.
The board recently hired Dahlgren to update a 2005 report he did on the space needs for a new library. His new report recommends 1,000 more square feet than his original report.
At its June 12 meeting, the board approved spending up to $1,900 to have Dahlgren come to Belleville to explain his recommendation. Board member John Juriga voted against the motion, saying the board could have its architect explain the report to it.
In the long written report Dahlgren sent to the library board, he noted library trends call for increased eBooks, the need for more computers in libraries, the move toward shorter, more accessible shelving with wider aisles and computerized check outs.
When a location for the meeting is determined, it will be announced.
In other business at the 48-minute meeting, the board:
• Discussed selection of an auditor, since the fiscal year ended June 30. Financial consultant Ron Traskos is being asked to review the request for proposals being considered;
• Heard board chairman Mary Jane Dawson thank Barbara Miller about the reminder concerning Miller’s suggestion of hiring a professional fundraiser to help with the new building. Dawson said the board hasn’t discussed it. Miller said people will memorialize loved ones with donations, especially during construction of a new building. There could be pledges for donations for public art, public rooms, and other things. “People could make commitments for the library besides their taxes,” Miller said, adding the board has been functioning for more than two years now and should be discussing a professional way to raise funds. The fund raiser could approach Visteon, GE, and other corporations in a professional manner, she said. Board member Joy Cichewicz said both libraries where she has worked have an annual appeal and fund drive. The finance and policy committees will put together a policy on fundraising, to present to the board hopefully at the next meeting;
• Was informed the new fiber optic line has been installed at the library, with internet responsiveness greatly improved. The line went from the previous 3 megabytes to the new 10 megabytes;
• Learned eCirculation went up 189% year to date from this time last fiscal year and total circulation was down 0.53%. Children’s programming increased 9.03% and adult programming 38.24%. Adult internet use was up more than 13%, with children’s internet use down almost 33%;
• Discussed investigating the FEMA flood plain maps to determine specifically if the favored DNR library site on lakeside property is in the floodplain which would require special permits to build and flood insurance; and
• Heard Juriga say he liked Miller’s idea to send a letter to the Belleville City Council asking for a response to the library board’s request to donate the library building property to the library. Juriga pointed out it has been 145 days since the library board made the request.