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.