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Letter: Thoughts on the proposed Ames Public Library expansion

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By Holly Fuchs

(Sept. 30, 2009 - 3:30 p.m.) In 2004 Iowa City expanded its 47,000 square foot library to 81,276 square feet, not 100,000 as stated by the Ames Tribune in its Sept. 20, 2009 editorial, "Library comes with a caveat".

 

Last week the Ames Library Board of Trustees voted to move from our 48,000 square foot library and build a new 94,000 square foot library, 15% larger than Iowa City's. 

The service population of the Iowa City Public Library is about 84,000 people while that of the Ames Public Library is close to 67,000 people, 20% smaller than Iowa City's.

The Iowa City Public Library circulated 1.53 million items in FY2009 while the Ames Public Library circulated 1.39 million, 9% fewer.

Why --  when our service population is 20% smaller than Iowa City's  and our circulation is  9% less -- do we need a public library that is 15% larger than Iowa City's?  

Unfortunately, the general public was not involved in the discussions of library space needs.  Those discussions were held in 2007, before the public forums began.

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