Friday, May 25, 2007

How Green can we make our new library?

A news article earlier this month starts “Nampa officials are considering adopting green building standards they say will make future city buildings more efficient to maintain and healthier for people and the environment.” What would a LEED rating for a new library mean? I always knew it had to do with environmental concerns, but now I know it also means more natural light, better heating and cooling, more comfortable spaces and healthier air. There would be savings for the taxpayer on electricity (it can take plenty to light, heat and cool this building, and still be too hot or cold, with dim stack areas and uncomfortable glare on computer screens). For employees it means better staff retention, fewer health issues, and more productivity. For everyone it will mean a more comfortable building and doing the right thing for our community. I’m looking forward to hearing what comes next with LEED plans.
Karen Ganske

Friday, May 18, 2007

Shelving in the Library

I had a great conversation with a patron the other day. She said she was frustrated she couldn’t reach the top shelves of the videos and books. I told her I have been challenged by our shelving and have seen others struggling as well. She also said it’s tough to see titles and reach them on the bottom shelves. She expressed this concern not just for herself but for all of our differently-abled customers. We talked while the new shelving for videos was installed and I pointed out the bottom shelves at an angle. She said she’d like to see more of those angled shelves in the new building as well as the elimination of bottom and high shelving. Thanks for the great input! Imagine when we have more space and can spread the collection out!

Friday, May 11, 2007

To sip, or not to sip...

Community members have given some great ideas about how a coffee shop might be integrated into the plan for a new library. People told us they want to have beverages and snacks available in the library, but not in a prominent way. During the design workshop, a retail business owner explained that a successful operation will have to be on the street to capture pedestrians. It’s also possible for the shop to have a window to the inside of the library, but most of its frontage be on the street. It was clear people wanted any retail to be subdued, and not intrude on the main public space. We’ll pass those comments on so they can be included in the Requests for Proposals from developers later this summer.
- Dan Black

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Community makes a statement

An aggressive effort to gather public comment on a new library wrapped up last week.
The Nampa City Council and the Library Board toured the nationally-acclaimed Salt Lake City Public Library on Wednesday and had detailed and probing discussions on what to do and what to avoid. On Thursday, 27 community members spent all day at a design workshop putting down their ideas at the Nampa Civic Center. These efforts capped seven community forums, a design contest and e-mail correspondence that all tried to answer the question, "What do you want in a new library?" The comments were compliled into a report that will help direct a search for a developer and architect to build the library.
From all this discussion we have learned that people cherish a library not only as a place to get books, magazines, CDs and movies, but for a public meeting place, a quiet meditative place, a place where an individual encounters society, culture, art and the community.
This process has been very helpful for the Nampa community and its leaders. It appears Nampa residents and their leaders have a much clearer idea about what sort of library is right for Nampa.
Dan Black
Library Community Relations Coordinator

You bet libraries count!

Last week was crammed full of new ideas and images for a new Nampa Public Library. At the end of a busy week, I discoverd the April issue of the "Making Places Newsletter," which spoke to several big questions facing Nampa right now. Several library-related articles were chock full of great ideas. The lead article begins: "The creation of the information superhighway threatened to make libraries obsolete, but today they are as prominent as ever. Libraries are taking on a larger civic role, redefining themselves as community centers for the 21st Century."
The old model of the library was the inward-focused "reading room." The new one is more like a community "front porch." Check it out here or at
- Karen Ganske
Library Director