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Citizen advisory group meets with library planners

What a renovated interior may look like at the Mercer Island Library, is a work in progress. - King County Library System image
What a renovated interior may look like at the Mercer Island Library, is a work in progress.
— image credit: King County Library System image

KCLS staff and a ten-person citizen advisory committee met on March 10 to advance remodel plans for the Mercer Island library. The meeting was an effort to ensure the design of the new space matched the needs and interests of its users, but members aren’t sure their message is reaching KCLS staff.

“They spent a lot of time on the color scheme and the ambiance, which we all agree should be kept soft and friendly and inviting,” said Lori Robinson, a member of the citizen advisory group and Friends of the Library. “But [KCLS] didn’t really deal with the other issues.”

When KCLS presented updated plans in January, many neighbors complained that it was just change for the sake of it. They requested with the backing of city council, that KCLS allow up to a three month delay for more feedback. As of last Monday, KCLS had only agreed to one meeting and a follow-up. But Robinson said staff and interim director Julie Brand seemed receptive and eager to work with the Island community.

“The citizens group is concerned that they have presented to KCLS four times [their] priorities and they don’t seem to have been met,” said Robinson.  “We’re giving them the benefit of the doubt that they will come back with the appropriate designs. I’m optimistic.”

The committee presented three main priorities at last Monday’s meeting: a better interim space, a vestibule that maintains its current size and usability and the location of the children’s area and meeting room.

A petition requesting an alternative to the interim space at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church has also been posted to the group’s website, libraryremodel.org. It notes that when the space was remodeled in 1990, adequate space was provided to continue use of the library without interruption.

By some estimates the library could be out of commission for up to a year.

For more information and meeting minutes, visit libraryremodel.org.

 

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