Tuesday, June 18, 2002

W. Chester to look at Ind. library

By Jennifer Edwards, jedwards@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WEST CHESTER TWP. — Leaders and library officials will trek to an Indianapolis suburb Friday to view a library much like one proposed for this fast-growing Butler County community.

        The Carmel Clay Public Library in Carmel, Ind., resembles the 100,000-square-foot library envisioned in West Chester.

        The library here could be built adjacent to Interstate 75 in the Voice of America Park on Cox Road between Tylersville and Hamilton-Mason roads.

        Officials taking the day-long trip will include Township Administrator Dave Gully and Trustee Dave Tacosik, along with Doug Bean, director of the Middletown Public Library system.

        Carmel Clay's library, one of the busiest in Indiana, is a two-story brick, 117,000-square-foot structure. It serves about 600,000 people per year and circulates 1.4 million pieces of material, according to Kathy Ransom, the library's circulation services manager.

        The library features technology rooms for all ages with computers with Internet and word processing access, scanners, printers and other multimedia equipment, Ms. Ransom said. There also is a large children's library.

        “It's a good example of a state-of-the-art library, and Carmel is similar to West Chester and Liberty townships,” Mr. Bean said. “You pick up so many good ideas by traveling — and see the finest example of architecture and library buildings.”

        A bond issue for construction and a levy for operating costs are likely. No decision is expected, though, until after township trustees review results of a community survey, which will be released June 25, Mr. Bean said. The current 15,000-square-foot library is a branch of the Middletown Public system. Its circulation is the second-largest in Southwest Ohio.

        The West Chester library circulated 966,373 items and served about 1,000 people a day last year, said Judi Girton, assistant director of the Middletown Public Library system

        Library officials can't add new materials and services in the existing library. They want to expand by about 70,000 square feet.

        When vacated, the library building may be converted into a senior center, Mr. Gully said Monday.


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