Downtown James River Valley Library

JAMES RIVER VALLEY LIBRARY SYSTEM BOARD OK’S RENOVATION OF ALFRED DICKEY AND ADDITION TO THE NORTH

The JRVLS Board has approved options to purchase two properties adjacent to the Alfred Dickey Library. The two properties, directly north of AD will allow for the construction of a new two level 16,000 sf state of the art addition to the 11,200 sf Alfred Dickey facility. AD will be renovated to take advantage or today’s electronic innovations while preserving the beauty and heritage of the 1919 design. Bringing the classic and the contemporary together allows the board to honor the past and recognize a constantly changing learning environment.

The new facility will bring the Stutsman County Library, the bookmobile and the Alfred Dickey Library under one roof. The estimated cost of the new facility is $9,000,000. Net cost after donations is conservatively estimated at $7,750,000. An initiative for a ¼% sales tax will be on the November 4th, 2014 ballot for city and county approval.  The ¼% sales tax will cost the average Stutsman County family $33.75 a year according to the state tax office.

The option agreements, included in the $9,000,000, are for the property owned by Satrom Rentals, immediately adjacent to AD, and the Maple Mall owned by Helen Ashwell.  The Satrom property purchase price is $375,000. The Ashwell purchase price is $399,000. The option is good untill Feb. 15, 2014.

Volunteers will soon start collecting signatures to get the initiative on the ballot. 1,452 signatures from qualified voters in Stutsman County (15% of the voters in the 2013 general election) are required to get the initiative on the ballot. If you would like to help collect signatures, contact Bill Kennedy at 701 252-2217 or by email, billkennedy0@gmail.com

 

New Research Shows that Comprehension is Better with Text than Screen

Readers and writers are discovering that comprehension suffers when reading on line, on screens. Comprehension is better when reading printed material.  There is still a lot to learn from on-line reading, but experience is showing that something is lost with speed and distraction. The role of the library is to provide a balance of printed material and on-line access.

Check this article from today’s Washington Post.  Reading Comprehension

FAQ’s or What Do We Want To Know About A New Library?

These are the questions that arise most often about the need for a new library, and the answers to those questions.

If your question is not on the list, please send it to us as a comment. 

Q. How much will the new library cost?

A. The new library is currently projected to cost $8,250,000. We have raised $1,025,000 in donations. More donations through foundation grants and personal gifts are expected following the November 4th election. It will cost the average Stutsman County family$33.75 a year in sales tax to pay for the new library.  Property owners in Stutsman County now pay 3.5% of their property tax for the library. This will not change.

Q. How big will the new library be?

A. The new library will be 28,000 sq. ft. The current Alfred Dickey and Stutsman County buildings are a combined 14,000 sq. ft. The State Library’s standard for populations over 25,000 requires a minimum of 25,000 sq. ft. for new construction. Jamestown and Stutsman County are projected to reach that population figure by 2025.

Q. Why do we even need a library? Doesn’t everyone have a tablet, a pad or a smartphone that gives them access to whatever they want or need?

A. The Pew Institute conducts extensive surveys on our use of the internet. In a recent survey of young adults, 18-29, 35% do not own a smartphone, 66% do not own a tablet, 72% do not own an e-reader. 76% of these young adults say that it is “Very Important” for libraries to offer free access to computers and the internet.

The role of the library is changing. It is a place where people go to learn. It is a place where people who do not have access to the latest electronic devices go to do research on jobs, health, education. It is a place where people go to share ideas and learn.

The advent of e-publication has opened another avenue for reading and learning. However, not everyone has access to or can afford a laptop, tablet or smart-phone. A book feels better to many people than an electronic device. The key is to have a balance of traditional materials with e-materials and be able to adapt quickly.

Q. Why not remodel the current building, buy the building next door, and expand?

A.  JRVL’s architect Joel Davy says, “The Current Alfred Dickey Library has inadequate space, even with the building next door, for the 28,000 sq. ft. that are needed to fulfill the role of the library today.  Even if there were space, three problems remain unsolved.

1. Garage for the bookmobile

2. Parking for patrons

3. The library would be closed for a year during construction.”

Q. What will happen to the 1919 Alfred Dickey building?

A. The library board is committed to finding an appropriate use for the building in the tradition of re-use for the old Trinity Hospital, Post Office, and Jamestown Hospital.

Q. Do people actually use the library? What will happen when the new library opens?

A. In 2013, 90,000 patron visits were made to the two facilities. Circulation was 180,000.

The 2017 forecast is for145,000 visits. Total circulation will be 250,000.

Q. How important is a new library to Jamestown and Stutsman County?

A.  A modern, efficient, flexible, library, is as important to the community as a modern, efficient, flexible, sewer system. Studies show that when a new library is opened, entire neighborhoods are revitalized. The new library would be a catalyst to keep current businesses alive and draw new businesses to downtown.

Q. Why now?

A. Alfred Dickey Free Library was opened in 1919 with 7,000 books for a population of 6,627 in a 13,000 sq. ft. building. The Stutsman County Library moved into its current 7.000 sq. ft. in 1973 with an inventory of 25,000 books. In 2008 voters said to combine the two libraries into one system

Today, the two libraries house 70,000 books for 20,934 people. They are one system, but under two roofs. The buildings, especially Alfred Dickey (AD) are overcrowded and inefficient offering no flexibility for staff or collections. AD cannot be retrofitted to meet the challenges that libraries face today. The library of tomorrow must offer the appropriate space for traditional collections and the flexibility to react to changes in the e-universe.

Q. Why are more public spaces necessary?

A. There is growing demand for community gathering places where ideas can be shared between individuals and within small groups. Some are quiet spaces, others are appropriate for group discussion. Patrons use the library to pay bills, write resumes, get health care information, read, and meet with other people to share ideas. The key is flexibility to meet the needs of the community.

These spaces are free and do not compete with commercial enterprises. They give every resident a chance to meet, share, and learn.

Q. Do we still need a Bookmobile?

A. Yes. The Bookmobile is more important than ever. It is an essential part of the library service to the community. On the 9 days a month that the bookmobile travels to 23 county and city locations, it accounts for almost 40% of the total circulation.  The bookmobile is an efficient, flexible branch of the library that caters to individual requests and needs.

 

March Update

The library board and administration have been very busy since the original site for the new library, the old Essentia location, was sold to a developer for senior housing. New locations are being researched with Mike Schwarz of Dardis Realty providing assistance. The goal is to have the new site finalized by the end of March. The next step is to circulate a petition authorizing a 1/4% county wide sales tax to be placed on the November ballot.

Listed below is the timing and action calendar for key events and dates.

1) Board finalizes the proposed location:   March 31, 2014

2) Submit Petition to put a 1/4% Sales Tax Initiative on the November 4th general election ballot for review:  April 4, 2014

3) Start collecting petition signatures: April 30, 2014

4) Submit a minimum of 1,452 signatures (15% of voters in the 2012 general election)  for review:  August 1, 2014.

5) General Election: November 4, 2014.

6) With approval by voters, close on property:  November 30, 2014.

7) Groundbreaking: August 1, 2015

8) Grand Opening: September 1, 2016

These are the key steps necessary to bring a new library to Jamestown and Stutsman County.

Next week we will post  ”Frequently Asked Questions”  with answers that highlight the reasons that the new library is essential for Jamestown and Stutsman County.

If you have any questions, post them in the comment section this week. Chances are the FAQ posting will give you an answer. If it is a new question, we will provide an answer.

 

Why A Bookmobile?

The bookmobile serves over 2,000 square miles of Stutsman County. It provides over 35% of the circulation for the James River Valley Library on the days it travels. Early readers, elementary students, high school students through seniors are given an opportunity to read and learn.  This opportunity would not exist without the bookmobile. Bags of requested materials are included with the typical shelves of books and magazines to choose from. These are books that seniors, parents, teachers and students have asked to be delivered. Couldn’t they just go pick up what they wanted at Alfred Dickey or the Stutsman County Library?  No. If the bookmobile did not exist, these early readers, 3rd graders, high school students, parents, teachers, seniors, would go without.

It is one thing to say that the bookmobile is important to the county as I sit at my desk in the Stutsman County Library. It is a totally different experience after I have had the opportunity to visit a few of the 23 locations that  the bookmobile serves. The importance of the bookmobile to the kids in Medina and Cleveland, Ypsilanti, Montpelier and Adrian can only be shown by the expressions on their faces as they find the book they were looking for.

It can only be understood after personally delivering bags of books to the James House after Bookmobile travel was cancelled because of weather. Thanks to Maybelle and Virgina for being patient as their bags of books were delivered. Maybelle says that she is “so happy that the bookmobile comes. I’m not driving anymore.”  Virginia says that the “Bookmobile is my lifeline.”

Maybelle & Virginia At the James House

Often, the love for books makes new friends. Maybelle told Alethea about the Bookmobile and Althea’s first words were, “Get me a schedule!” She went on to explain that “I get great joy out of reading. I am one with the characters.”

Maybelle Tells Alethea About the Bookmobile

The importance of the Bookmobile can only be understood after seeing the smiles and hearing the thank you’s from students and parents. Those thank you’s and smiles deliver the truth about the importance of the bookmobile.Thanks to Bryce, Lane and Jason in Montpelier for their excitement. Thanks to Megan, Makenna, Alexis and Chloee in Medina for their love of books.

Bryce, Lane & Jason

Megan, Makenna, Alexis & Chloee

If you have any doubt about the importance of the bookmobile, make a visit to one of the many locations the bookmobile visits.

For more information, give us a call at 701-252-1531. For a schedule of the days and locations visited, click on this link:   Bookmobile Schedule

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kate DiCamillo Named Young People’s Literature Ambassador

Kate DiCamillo will be traveling to libraries and schools in 2014, promoting her “Communities Engage In Reading Projects Together,” platform as the new Young People’s Literature Ambassador. Wouldn’t it be great if she came to Jamestown. It might happen if we let her know how we would love having her here. Post a comment if you would like to see Kate in Jamestown.

Children’s Literature Ambassador

Read about Kate in this article in the New York Times.

Kate in the New York Times

 

 

Happy Holidays From the James River Valley Library

The holidays are a time for families to share memories, hopes and plans.  It is a great time to share a book with family and friends. Read a passage from the book you are reading or your favorite book. Show the kids in your family or your friends kids how important books are to you. That’s how life long readers are created.

Bryce, Lane & Jason from the Bookmobile.

Libraries Are Better Than….

Link

The survey says,  http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/12/public-libraries-are-better-than-congress-baseball-and-apple-pie-say-americans/282312/

Public Libraries Are Better Than Congress, Baseball, and Apple Pie, Say Americans

Public approval polls reveal the amazing truth!
 

 Every so often, a grave and concerned person will ask (as, in fact, the New York Times asked last year): “Do We Still Need Libraries?” Hasn’t the Internet kind of, you know, ended all that? Aren’t libraries falling behind?

Tellingly, the Times could find no one to argue against libraries, and that mirrors American sentiment pretty much exactly. A new Pew study finds that not only do Americans adore libraries, but a majority of us think they’re adjusting to new technology just fine.

As my colleague Svati Narula reported, some 94 percent of Americans say that having a public library improves a community and that the local library is a “welcoming, friendly place.” 91 percent said they had never had “a negative experience using a public library, either in person or online.”

These sound like incredible approval ratings for any U.S. public institution. So I wondered: Just how incredible are they? How do other icons of Americana compare?

Using exclusive and highly accurate statistical analysis techniques, I endeavored to find out. Here are the results:

 

That’s right. Public libraries not only rank more highly in the American psyche than Congress, journalists, and President Obama, but they also trump baseball and apple pie. Public libraries are more beloved than apple pie.