Charleston County Public Library Library Services ... - pressOmatic

Jun 18, 2014 - Charleston County Public Library. Library Services, Construction History and Future Needs. Voters will have an opportunity in November to ...
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Charleston County Public Library Library Services, Construction History and Future Needs Voters will have an opportunity in November to consider a referendum to build new libraries and renovate existing libraries – an issue last on the ballot 28 years ago. Charleston County Council agreed to place a $108.5 million referendum question on the ballot to address the library’s building and technology deficiencies. The Construction and Renovation Plan, which includes 19 buildings, was developed after a detailed assessment of the library’s existing facilities, a review of population growth patterns since the 1986 referendum, a study of changing technologies, a look at library service trends plus multiple meetings, surveys, focus groups and interviews to determine community needs. In 2011, a Strategic Plan concluded CCPL can’t keep up with customer demands and remains far below state library service standards because local facilities and technology are so outdated. Current branches are an average of 44 years old, and the busiest branches opened before the Internet launched. Despite rapid changes in technology with many residents now using the Internet and e-Readers, the demand for library service continues to grow. An independent survey found that 75 percent of Charleston County residents had visited the library in the previous six months, a fact that reflects the public’s use of libraries as educational and cultural hubs for life-long learning. Last Referendum – 28 years ago:  1986 – 76 percent of voters approved referendum to build new libraries  County population (estimates from Charleston County Comprehensive Plan)  1986-2014 = a 27% jump from 289,400 to the current estimate of more than 370,000 residents  2017-2020 = 400,000-429,000 estimate – expected dates new and renovated libraries would open with 2014 voter approval o 1986 vs. 2020 populations = up 139,600 residents or nearly 50% more than date of last referendum  Library circulation  1986-2014 = a 289% increase from 873,660 to the current circulation of nearly 3.4 million County residents use the library and strongly support increased spending for library buildings and services:  2011 Strategic Plan included extensive public input and an independent survey of county residents, which found:  90% of county residents believe the library very important to county;  75% of county residents had visited library in previous six months; and  Majority of residents support increased library funding and designated library funding on tax bill.  FY2013 Library use includes:  Program Attendance = 166,542  Circulation = 3,381,870  Programs and Events = 5,966 Despite community support, CCPL falls far below State Standards:  Libraries should have 1.25 square feet of public space per capita  CCPL has .43 square feet of public space per capita  Current = 155,458  Needed = 452,772  Libraries should have four print material items per capita  CCPL has 3.1 print materials per capita  Current = 1,118,192  Needed = 1,448,869  Libraries should have three public computers per 1,000 residents  CCPL has .9 public computers per 1,000 residents  Current = 349  Needed = 1,086 Building plan totals $108.5 million = 2.8 mills or $11.20/year on an owner-occupied home assessed at $100,000. The plan includes:  Renovating 13 existing libraries = the Main Library plus  Regionals: Dorchester Road, John’s Island, Mt. Pleasant, Otranto Road and St. Andrews  Branches: Dart, Poe/Sullivan’s Island, West Ashley/South Windermere, Edisto, Folly Beach, McClellanville and Village  Building five new branch libraries:  James Island – 20,000-square-foot building to replace James Island Branch with 6,306 square feet  Pinehaven/Chicora – 15,000-square-foot building to replace Cooper River Memorial with 6,800 square feet  St. Paul’s Parish – 15,000-square-foot building to replace St. Paul’s/Hollywood Branch with 1,026 square feet  East Cooper/Carolina Park – new 40,000-square-foot facility  Bees Ferry Road/Highway 61 – new 20,000-square-foot facility  Relocating support staff from high valu