Thursday October 05, 2017
Since it was announced that the South Burlington Community Library would be temporarily re-locating to the University Mall later this fall, questions around the move have been numerous. At the October 2 city council meeting, Library Director Jennifer Murray gave an update on the library’s move and provided a document with answers to frequently asked questions.
Murray reported that plans are moving along smoothly on the library end, where 30,000 books have passed through volunteer or staff hands so far on their way to being separated into library and school owned categories. The childrens’ collection is currently being sorted and Murray said she has daily contact with the high school librarian to determine the impact on students and staff.
The city’s Public Information Officer Coralee Holm has been designated the project manager for the move. She has been overseeing the furniture and shelving selection and purchase through Office Environments, the same company that was used for the new furnishings at City Hall. All of the items have now been ordered and exactly when they arrive will be key to the timeline for the opening, which is currently set for November 15. There will be a two to three week period prior to the move when the library will be closed and those updates will be available on the library Facebook page and website as the time draws near.
Just prior to the meeting, Murray received and shared renderings from Office Environments that gave an idea of the layout of the transitional library. These images will be uploaded to the city website and show where each section of the current library will fit into the new space. There will be tables in the front and back for working, flexible furniture that can be combined and moved to create more intimate spaces, and more office space. There will be a small bathroom in the back of the library, but it will be for staff use only.
Riehle asked what was to come of the items in the current library collection that hadn’t been checked out in some time. Those items are being offered to the high school library to supplement their collection, to the Friends of the Library for their book sale, and others are being sent away to an online book seller.
The lease with the UMall is for three years and will save the city $17,500 per year over the $62,000 annual fee previously paid to the school district. The three year time frame was chosen because it would take, at a minimum, that long to get through the RFP, design, and build process for a new library, should the voters approve this item at a March 2018 vote. At their September 5 meeting, the council considered and unanimously approved a purchase and sale agreement between South Burlington City Center, LLC and the City of South Burlington to acquire property for the future location of a library and community center contingent upon voter and other approvals.
The city’s hope is to get RFQs (request for qualifications) for design services this fall in order to give voters a visual depiction of what the library could look like. The city will also need to do its due diligence around the property itself, including permitting and locating a firm to build the structure, which could take 18 months (the build out), best case scenario, according to Dorn, thus the need for a three year lease.
Due to the time required for planning and implementing the upcoming move, the library will not be taking inter-library loan requests beginning immediately. The Friends and the library are also unable to accept donations until further notice.
Hours of operation for the new public library at the mall will be 10-8 Monday-Thursday, 10-5 Friday and Saturday, closed Sun. There will be a book drop outside the mall, just outside the IHOP entrance, for after hours drop off.
SOURCE: Corey Burdick, Correspondent