City studying future of public libraries

Reported by: Henry Ramos
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Updated: 9/06/2012 9:52 pm

Call it part of the City's summer reading program. The City Council and staff are reading up on proposals for studying the future of the city's four public libraries.

Councilman Victor Hernandez said "Are we dealing with a dinosaur that needs to be put down, or are we dealing with an institution that needs to be modernized? Depending on where this study leads us. It will impact the city's decision on where we need to go, but I don't think anybody is looking at closing any library doors right now."

Lubbock Library Director Jane Clausen said, "The future of libraries is changing everyday."

That's exactly why she said the city needs a master plan that would spell out the future needs and services, size and location. Clausen expects the libraries to become even more critical than they are today.

"The population growth that we have, the four facilities may not be enough for the future. We are also looking for more electronic services."

Cost-effectiveness another reason for a deep analysis. A decision needs to be made on the longterm location of the Godeke branch. The rent at strip center off the South Loop and Slid: $25,000 a month, that's $300,000 a year.

Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson said,"We just talked about the option of the Godeke about whether it should stay or if we need to look at another option, and we really came to no decisions. Part of the council felt like we are alright where we are, some of us thought we were paying to much for the lease."

The city is taking applications from consultants to offer some answers. It has even asked the group "Friends of the Library" to help foot the bill for the master-plan study.

Councilman Hernandez said developing a plan could cost between $20,000 and $30,000. 

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