Southeast Library June 7 Community Meeting Update

Southeast Library will be undergoing a renovation in the next year. A community meeting was held June 7, 2017 to hear from the public about their wishes for the new space. Twenty-five people attended the meeting with library staff and the architects, MacDonald and Mack and Quinn Evans.

Here is a recap of the meeting.

Q) Other than Internet access, how or what technology can be incorporated to help you?

Respondents spoke about the need for additional computers, power stations, staff assistance with technology for beginning users as well as tutorials for intermediate users. A chance to learn technology and software was also cited. Opportunities to rent tablets, cameras and video equipment were also expressed, as well as staff to assist with new technologies, and the need for an accessible and understandable digital catalog. After-hours’ reserve/hold pickup would be beneficial.

Q) What is the single most important thing the library can do to help you?

Participants expressed the need for the nearby college-age population to be engaged in the building process and for the library to reach out to different age groups. In addition, the library must be a place for the community to make connections including plenty of meeting spaces. Community-building was also cited and a desire for the library to connect with neighboring schools to find out their library needs.Q) How do you use the library?
Respondents use the library in a variety of ways: Email reading, borrowing books, listening to music with headphones, viewing art exhibits, teaching kids how to use libraries, using spaces for youth.

Q) What about the library is a limitation to your success?

People expressed concern about the existing landscape and the need for it to be enhanced, and that the trees and boulevard need to be better maintained. Additional parking spaces are needed for the new facility. Participants hoped for better access by bike lanes and bus routes. A more modern building with safe features (non-slippery floors and entryways) was voiced. A welcoming environment with better wayfinding/signage, acoustics and bike parking was expressed as a need. More open hours and after-hours’ meeting spaces were desired.

Q) What is the most important attribute of the existing building?

Participants commented on the Rapson design, lighting and windows in the space, relationship to the outdoors and the city – including it being a location that recognizes and provides services to those experiencing homelessness.