The Case for Expanding Our Library

*Now Updated with Architect Drawings!*

History & Growth of YPL

Before we became the Yorktown Public Library, we existed in the 1990’s as the Wright Memorial Library, a community library supported solely by donations and volunteers. At that time, Yorktown had a population of about 4,800 and the tiny library filled a community void. However, it wasn’t long before we had outgrown the small Wright Memorial Building.

wright mem
The Wright Memorial Building in downtown Yorktown.

In 2000, the Yorktown Public Library officially opened its doors in a larger building, formerly Bonnet Drugs, where it still stands today.

o
Our current building

Now, with Yorktown’s population approaching 12,000, we are outgrowing ourselves once again.

Since 2002:

  • Our staff has increased by 260%
  • The number of public computers has increased by 380%
  • The number of materials in the library has increased by 365%
  • The number of patrons has increased by 417%
  • The circulation of materials has increased by 380%
  • Our building size has increased by0%

growth infographic

As you can see from the infographic above, we have grown a lot in the last 15 years! The problem is, our building hasn’t grown with us. If you have visited the library during after-school hours, you can attest to our lack of space.

Along with our expansive material collection, our 24 public computers are a draw to teenagers and adults alike, which creates a competition for space when school lets out each day. One of our main goals for this expansion project is to create distinct and separate spaces for children, teens, and adults. We want everyone to feel welcome at the library anytime they visit.

As a newcomer to Yorktown who plans to raise two kids here… I LOVE the idea of a library expansion!

-Patron petition message

The Plan

We will be working with an experienced architect from a small company called Stair Associates to expand and renovate the library.

The renovation and expansion will include:

  • A 3,000 square foot addition
  • More public bathrooms (we currently have one)
  • Separate children, teen, and adult areas
  • Relocation and enlargement of conference room to create a more usable meeting room for the community
  • A local business touchscreen kiosk in the lobby that would advertise Yorktown businesses for free

The addition will also create an opportunity for a new main entry, with a new circulation desk front and center. It will also give us an opportunity to create an attractive gateway into downtown Yorktown. Parking will be moved to what is now the back lot of the building.

We are still early in the design process, because we haven’t yet had the funds approved. But this is what the library could look like:

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Our Library is used by all age groups. The special sessions held there, the summer reading program for children (and their parents), and the shear number/volumes of books, DVDs and periodicals is bulging at the seams. A new attractive Library would be a great addition to Yorktown. We need some of the old buildings in town renovated and this would be a good start.

-Patron petition message

Tax Impact

The total cost of this project will be $1.8 million. The library will contribute $400,000, bringing the amount we need to $1.4 million. This is the amount we are requesting the Yorktown Town Council to approve the library to issue in bonds.

We understand that the community’s biggest concern surrounding our proposed expansion is increasing property taxes. We’ve broken down the projected cost for households, business, and farmers in a few examples below.

Households

Copy of Tax impact for homeowners

Businesses

business tax impact

Farmers

Tax impact for farmers

A town image is enhanced by the presence of a good library. The current staff provides wonderful service to patrons. The proposed expansion will allow them to provide even better service, thereby making Yorktown a more attractive community.

-Patron petition message

Economic Impact

From the information above, you can see that expanding the library will require a property tax increase. However, money spent on public libraries yields a return on that investment.

I save loads of money every year by utilizing my library’s fine collections. I love seeing it crowded with children and adults, nearly any time I’m there.

-Patron petition message

Local Businesses

On average, every $1.00 Indiana communities spend on their public library yields $2.38 in direct benefits. This figure comes from a 2005 report by the Indiana Business Research Center and is, by many estimates, conservative. Direct benefits increase depending on services that libraries are able to offer, especially to local businesses.

Because the study by the IBRC is over a decade old, modern library services aren’t taken into consideration. We are able to provide a variety of beneficial services at no cost:

  • High speed Internet access
  • Prolific and comprehensive databases
    • legal forms, automotive manuals, marketing tools, ancestry.com library edition, resume builder, foreign language education, and so much more!
  • Meeting/conference room
  • One-on-one computer classes

 

wayfinding-2
Example of touchscreen kiosk with map directory

The services listed above help local businesses. By expanding the library, we would be able to expand these services as well. An enlarged conference room, for example, will enable local businesses and groups to have a free meeting space that fits their needs.

A local business touchscreen kiosk in the lobby wouldadvertise businesses in the area for free.

In addition, by separating the adult space from the teen and children spaces, you’ll have access to a quiet work space no matter the time of day.

Patrons

Many benefits for local businesses also directly benefit patrons. High speed Internet access, comprehensive databases, a meeting room, and computer classes can all be taken advantage of by patrons.

A library should be a gathering place for the community. The Yorktown library is not attractive and does not have the space for very many activities.

-Patron petition message

By expanding the library, we’ll be able to offer our patrons additional services to those listed above:

  • More materials
    • More square footage will mean more room for shelving units
  • More programs and services
    • More space will allow us to host more events at the library, including classes and guest speakers/authors
    • We’ve discussed using some of the extra room to create a maker’s space. Maker’s spaces typically have things like sewing machines, 3D printers, and more.
  • Self-checkout
      • Many of you have asked us about self-checkout stations. With more room for these stations, that will be a viable option.
        Self_checkout_in_library
        Example of a self-checkout station.

         

Conclusion

If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to sign our petition to the Yorktown Town Council, we hope the information presented here has helped. We are asking the Council to approve$1.4 million in bonds for this project. You can review the potential cost for your household, business, or farm in the examples above, under Tax Impact.

I would love to see are [sic] library grow with growth in knowledge would mean a stronger community and with a stronger community backed with knowledge what wrong would we be doing?

-Patron petition message

It is the mission of the Yorktown Public Library to provide a variety of current materials and services to meet the educational, informational, and recreational needs of the community. As our community has grown to a population of nearly12,000, we must also grow to meet their needs. It is a pleasure to serve this community, and we want to do so to the best of our ability.

You can sign our petition online or in person at the library. If you would like to volunteer to take the petition around your neighborhood, or if you would like information regarding our letter writing campaign, contact Liz Rozelle at lizrozelle@yorktownlib.org.

We cannot do this project without your support!

Please approve this! What a wonderful idea and would add value to our community!

-Patron petition message

One More Thing…

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Patron receipt with amount saved in 2017

On the bottom of every checkout receipt you receive from the library, you can see how much you’ve saved year-to-date by using the library instead of purchasing materials from retailers.

We ran a report to see how much all of our patrons have saved so far in 2017.

That amount?

$1.4 million

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Apollo Biblionix. Member Amount Saved Report. Indiana, 19 Oct. 2017.

http://www.ibrc.indiana.edu/studies/EconomicImpactOfLibraries_2007.pdf

http://www.incontext.indiana.edu/2007/december/6.asp

http://www.thestarpress.com/story/news/local/yorktown/2015/02/05/yorktown-public-library-loses-two-key-board-members/22917885/

 

 

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