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More library upgrades ahead

Submitted by on 1, August 6, 2008 – 10:30 amNo Comment

We Alamed(i)ans love our libraries so much, we’re actually willing to pay for them. In 2000, we voted overwhelmingly to pass Measure O, which gave the city the okay to go out for $10.6 million in bonds to help pay for a new library and more. And consultants hired by the city to help put together a strategic library plan for the next five years has found we’re willing to dig into our pockets again to pay a special tax for library improvements – which is good, because we apparently need to expand our Bay Farm Island branch library and build a new, 15,900-square-foot library on the West End.

A telephone survey taken as part of the plan process found that 71 percent of residents polled would support a special library tax. The tax, in conjunction with any state library bond that could be passed at a future date, could help pay for building a new West End library and expanding the Bay Farm Island branch, which at current costs would run between about $14 million to $16 million.

These big changes aren’t expected to happen anytime soon, though (think 2030). In the meantime, there’s about $2.5 million in Measure O dollars still available for library upgrades, including branch makeovers. They’re hoping to go out for proposals for these changes in four months. Now if only the city had the scratch to restore cuts to library hours …

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