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Library Addition, Renovation on August SPET Ballot

Jackson, WY- Teton County Library’s request for $8.45 million to build an addition and improve the main library will be on the Specific Purpose Excise Tax (SPET) ballot August 17, 2010.

“Every day I look out in the library and see people lining up for books, programs and computers, showing just how much our community depends on library resources in their daily lives for work, education and enjoyment,” said Library Director Deb Adams.

The proposed library addition and improvements to the existing building, parking and outdoor areas will give library staff the right space and tools to better serve the community. “I’m really looking forward to the time when there is enough space for people to find a place to study, a computer to improve their job skills, room for children to read and learn, and enough shelves for the many books people want to check out,” Adams said.

The library checked out a record 414,000 materials in fiscal year 2009, up 9 percent from the previous year. Library attendance has increased 122 percent over the past decade with more than 1,100 people visiting the library on a typical weekday. The public also logged more than 150,000 user sessions on the library’s computers and wireless network in the last fiscal year, with hundreds turned away from the public computers. Meanwhile, library programs for everything from children’s storytimes to local history have drawn overflow crowds.

“Demand for library services has increased during these tougher economic times and the economy has also impacted our budget. Taking a proactive approach, we trimmed our hours a bit during the times of lowest attendance, which has resulted in condensed use of the library,” said Lisa Delaney, Teton County Library Board President. The library board hopes trimming hours will be a temporary solution.

“The new space will allow for increased technology providing new efficiencies in our operations,” Delaney said.

The addition and renovation have been designed in a way that will allow the current staff to oversee and manage the larger facility.

To make more room for books, materials, reading, computers, programs, study and meetings, the library is proposing an 11,000-square-foot addition and a renovation of the existing 24,000-square-foot building, parking lot and outdoor areas. The addition and renovation aims to be LEED certified. The library’s existing building systems will be replaced or modified to increase energy efficiency and to handle increasing loads from growing library use, especially in new technologies.

“Right now, we can’t plug in another thing without throwing a breaker,” said Facility Manager Dail Barbour. “Being able to upgrade these outdated systems –electrical, heating, air handling and others – as part of this capital project will allow us to fund these necessary improvements with money from visitors as well as residents.”

The library surveyed the community in 2005 as part of a Strategic Planning process, and the community identified the need for more space. The community approved a SPET initiative in 2008 to fund planning, design, engineering, site preparation and preliminary construction, making this project ready to go. So far, the library has collected and reviewed more than 1,000 public comments while developing design plans for the addition and renovation. Public comments are welcome throughout the process.

For information or to sign up for regular email updates about the library’s main facility addition, visit us online at http://www.tclib.org/addition or call Dail Barbour, Facility Manager, at 307-733-2164, ext. 121

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Teton County Library offers open and equal access to information, literature and ideas…to encourage a lifetime of learning, to strengthen our evolving community, to inspire us all.

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