Friday, April 20, 2007


Spaceships, tree houses and castles dominated about 50 entries in a contest held by the Nampa Public Library this spring.

We asked for ideas on a new library. Entries ranged from original art and floor plans to essays and poems. Winning entries can be viewed here.

The first-place winners were given high-end MP3 players. Those and other prizes were presented at the annual Friends of the Library meeting, held in conjunction with a Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, April 17 at 6:45 to gather more comments about what people want from a new library.

The winning adult entry came from Lance McGrath, who wrote a poem simply called, “Library.”
It begins:
“Library. Likeable and trustworthy repository of information.
Stories stream forth from pages of limitless capacity.
Wisdom – stored and faithfully tended- is shared with a new generation.
Insatiable curiosity of young and old alike calls them to a new space for an old friend.”

Other entries had magnificent details such as a tree house, castle and escalator taking books behind encased glass. Those images were presented by the artwork of Katherine Yancey, who won first place in the children’s division. Other images include a detailed floor plan for a library that serves walk-in clients on the bottom floor and those who use their card to check out materials on the upper floor.
Comments from community forums and contest entries will be represented in a report to an architect that will draw up specifications for the library. Prizes were donated by the Goicoechea Law Firm, the Friends of the Library and Flying M Coffee Garage.

The winners include:

Adult Division:
First Place, MP3 Player, Lance McGrath.
Judges’ comments of poem: “Great rhythm. Vivid imagery. Very fresh.”
Second place, $50 gift certificate, Mary Portteus.
“Very creative. Great use of recycled materials, images and color.”
Third Place $25 gift certificate, Susan Kramer.
Comments on floor plan: “Very interesting ideas. Skillfully represented.”

Youth Division:
First Place, MP3 Player, Kathryn Carole While
“Fun tale. Brightly written.”
Second Place, $50 gift certificate, Chris Chaffin
“Clean and inviting picture. Good use of perspective.”
Third Place - none

Children’s Division: Art
First Place, MP3 Player, Katherine Yancey
“This just had everything.” Great color, use of space, a tree house, castle.”
Second Place, $50 gift certificate, Andrew Seeley
“Very imaginative artwork. Great letters as chairs.”
Third Place, $25 gift certificate, Zack Yancey
“Great spaceship library!”

Children’s Division: Essay
First Place, Book, Katherine Yancey
Judges’ comments: “Great imagination and descriptive detail. Lots of fun to read and has many great ideas.”
Second Place, $50 Simon McKenzie
“Nice writing. Fun and fast-paced.”
Third Place, $25, Hannah Diane White
“Great storytelling. Very original with twists and turns. The message comes through at the end.”

For more information, Contact Dan Black at 468-5824

Friday, April 6, 2007

Some Great Ideas

People have diverse hopes for a new library. We have gathered them from community forums and comment boxes around town. The most common request is for more computers. The library currently has 9 and some preliminary plans indicate a need for 63. Another common theme is adequate parking. We have 16 spaces and the plan is for more than 200.
Among all the comments, I’m most impressed with how personally people take their library experience. It’s not enough to simply get materials, they said. People look for a convenient experience that is enriching. Patrons have a high regard for the well-trained staff and they want to make sure the building design takes service into account. Some people want a help desk on each floor and to make sure the maintenance budget is strong enough to keep a new building looking good.
There were many comments asking for a children’s reading area and for special areas such as homework tables, meeting rooms and a quiet zone. My personal favorite comment on Tuesday came from a man who liked one library that has a large stone hearth fireplace. He said you can sit there with a book and it feels warm and comfy. You are in a public space, with high ceilings, but it feels personal and private, as well. Other comments ask for a snack shop, aquarium, better elevators, wireless Internet, public art, etc. Forums continue the next couple weeks.
Be sure to share your ideas either at the forums or through correspondence here on the blog. These comments will be turned over to an architect who will create the design for the new building.
- Dan Black