As of the 2010 U.S. Census, 13,166 residents live in the Manhattan-Elwood Public Library District. That means that 13,166 infants, preschoolers, juveniles, teens, adults and senior citizens have the right to use their library to the fullest to check out books, DVDs, CDs, audio books, downloadable books, magazines, attend programs, use research databases, and enroll in online continuing education classes through Universal Classes free-of-charge…all you need is a Manhattan-Elwood Public Library card. In addition, we also provide voter’s registration and notary public services free-of-charge whether you have a library card or not.
According to library usage standards, a small library should have one square foot of space equal to the number of residents living in the district. The referendum plan that is on the November 6th ballot asks residents to approve the sale of bonds to purchase approximately 13,000 square feet the HomeStar Bank Building, remodel the building, purchase furniture and equipment to provide space for a library. This will bring your library up to acceptable standards.
The Library Board of Trustees has put several plans before you over the past seven years in order to gauge which plan would be most acceptable to the residents of the district. Because the plan is to purchase an existing building that is only twice the size of the library’s current building, it is the least expensive and provides for the minimum amount of additional space suggested to meet library standards. The average home market value in the district is $200,000. The tax impact on the average home with a market value of $200,000 would be $3.26 per month or $39.12 per year.
If the plan is approved, the size will be twice that of the present building, and will bring your library up to the minimum standard. This plan will provide more shelf space to add new items for our growing collection of books, DVDs, CDs, audio books and magazines. There will be a meeting/program room for teen and adult programs that when not in use for library programs will be available to community organizations. There will be a children’s activity room for preschool and juvenile programs. Having two program spaces will allow us to have a program for children and one for adults at the same time. In addition, this larger space will provide ample parking, larger rest rooms, quiet study rooms, a local history area, an adult quite reading room, and ample seating throughout the building.
Because the HomeStar Bank building is only twice the size of the library’s current facility and it is more energy efficient than the present facility, it will not be necessary to ask for an operating rate increase. It will not be necessary in the beginning to hire additional staff and we do not foresee doing so until library usage increases and the tax base grows accordingly.
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to call the library at 815 478-3987.