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Published: Monday, 4/8/2013

Library forum addresses possible expansion, remodeling project

BLADE STAFF

The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library hosted a community forum tonight, to address concerns and to get feedback from patrons about a potential expansion and remodeling project at the West Toledo branch.

Branch manager Julie Bursten said the building, which has operated as a library since it was built 83 years ago, is in need of care and attention.

Facilities and operations manager Charlie Oswanski said hosting a community forum is an important aspect of the planning.

“It's important to us to hear what you want,” he said, as he addressed a crowd of about 20 people.

Mr. Oswanski said the most important detail was to assure patrons that the library plans to “respect the architecture.” The Tudor-style building is short on space for the number of people who visit the branch, he said.

“It's just cluttered and it's tight,” Mr. Oswanski said. He said the new design would help focus on improving lighting and open visibility and would also help get technology more organized.

“Patrons want a place to be able to sit down,” he said.

During the meeting, several attendees expressed an interest in having quiet study rooms, which could be used for tutoring.

Ms. Bursten said the branch focuses heavily on childhood literacy and that considerations concerning that mission would be valued.

“We want to encourage young people to learn how to read,” she said.

Mr. Oswanski said comments from attendees would be evaluated and a meeting to show proposed architectural renderings, would be planned for the future.

The project is expected to be funded partially with money from the state and the remainder, from a 2012 levy. A cost for the project has not yet been determined.

- Kelly McLendon



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