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Burb's Eye View: A library's role in the 21st century

August 09, 2011|By Bryan Mahoney

What would make it more attractive for people to use the library? I see décor is on the list. A used book store would be interesting — and there’s a selection for e-books here as well (I’m holding out until they don’t make paper anymore before I buy a Kindle).

Bookstore, coffee shop, Amazon-lite, almost-Netflix. These are roles employed by today’s libraries to compete with the private industries that already provide these services. Yet private companies do not provide adult literacy services, or family reading programs, or catalogue and maintain a collection of local history from books, newspapers, and official records. At least, not like the Burbank Central Library.

Krista Dietrich, a senior administrative analyst at the library, said this survey is currently the only way for the public to comment on the renovation process. City officials, Demmers and architects will use this feedback to design proposals that will likely come out early this fall. The public then gets to weigh in on those, and eventually the plans will go before City Council.

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“As the project moves forward, we’ll have a lot to share,” Dietrich said. “At this point, we’re just information gathering.”

The survey will be available until the end of August. It was started in early July, and in the first few weeks more than 400 responses were submitted. In a city of 103,000, we can do much better — so take a few minutes and tell city planners what the library should become.

It’s more productive than talking about what used to be.

BRYAN MAHONEY is a recent transplant from the East Coast. When he’s not taking online surveys, he can be reached at 818NewGuy@gmail.com and on Twitter @818NewGuy.
 
 

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