Invoke: Library expansion
Op-Ed · February 01, 2013

On Facebook: The West Branch Public Library wants to expand either by building new or adding to what they have now. No costs have been determined. What is most important to you before the library gets your "yes" vote?

Matt Hills: a) NEED TO HAVE LAND BEFORE A BUILDING PLAN b) The current library was built with the intention of long-term plans to expand on the current site. Much of the donation money came in with that plan attached to it. 5 Likes

Nate Steele: I'd like to see an addition to the east side of the building a two-story addition that is at street level. 3 Likes

Lisa Weber Kofoed: I agree with Matt Hills. The library needs to stay at its location. It was the original building committee's plan that the library building could be expanded for future growth. The original committee also wanted a basement, which was nixed because of the cost. 5 Likes

Carol Jones: I agree with Matt and Lisa. We donated with those ideas in mind. Building on Main Street wouldn't be safe for kids. 4 Likes

Sally Heckman: I agree with Matt, Lisa, Nate and Carol.

Kelsey Langenberg: Parking? I don't know how it is now. Whenever I went there before I always had to park by the field.

Linda Fulton Black: Yes, keep it where it is.

Mark Worrell: I sure hope the library board takes a long look at the idea Jim Oaks and myself proposed last year to dig a basement on the east side of the main building so it may become a sidewalk-level entry, two story addition. 1 Like

Lisa Weber Kofoed: I was going to mention about digging a basement, but didn't know if it was feasible. Looks like it is and should be the way to go!

Kelsey Langenberg: If they did the basement, ... they could add a second room for meetings and stuff like a community room to rent out. Double use. A safer place for tornados.

Nicholas Shimmin (Library Director): Thank you to everyone who commented on the question here and for the Times for fostering the discussion. As there are likely more people who have the same questions and comments, we are looking at ways to best distribute the past and future information on the project. We will likely make use of the Times both here on Facebook and in print so expect more to come shortly. The library staff and board of trustees would again like to invite you to the next part of our process to take place on March 27th and 28th where these issues can be discussed directly with the library representatives and architects. Of course, please also feel free to contact me with any questions at the library in person, by email at, or by phone at (319) 643-2633. 2 Likes.

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