Category Archives: Oakville

Board meeting tomorrow in Montesano (feasibility studies for Oakville and Morton)

The two most interesting to read documents for our meeting tomorrow are the feasibility studies for two possible joint use libraries in Oakville and Morton.

We’ve been discussing the future of Oakville (study) for a few years now, hopefully this option of moving into and improving the current high school library is a good option. It sure is nice to see some real words on paper about what exactly the facility would look like.

The facility situation would be much the same in Morton (here’s the study for that facility).

Now, I may be reading this wrong, but the total cost of making over both school libraries into public libraries is included in the studies. For Oakville and Morton, the costs would be $76,000 and $83,000 respectively. The seems like a very reasonable and doable cost for both. I’m very excited.

Here’s the entire meeting packet.


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Joint public and school libraries and their issues (notes from the September’s director report)

More notes from the director’s report, this on the good work we’re doing in Oakville and Cosmopolis.

The effort to build another joint school/public library is underway in Cosmopolis (we’re also exploring a similar building in Oakville). For me, the biggest concern isn’t funding the building, but rather the agreement of how we agree operate both a public and school library.

Here the concerns are outlined pretty well:

The most formidable challenge of a joint-use facility is to ensure the safety of the children of the community. While both the school library and the public library share this common goal they must by law employ different means to achieve that end. With this in mind, schools limit public access to promote the safety of the children they serve. They have strict sign-in procedures for parents/guardians visiting the building, and they tightly limit access to the school by outsiders. By their nature public libraries must be pen to all members of the community. They offer the general public full and open access with few permissible restrictions. To fulfill its mission and to comply with the law, a public library must meet a high standard when considering exclusion of any individual or group. Public library users need not be residents of the community, are not requested to identify themselves and do not sign-in or need any identification of clearance to enter the facility. In dealing with children, school library staff may act in loco parentis; public library staff may not. To successfully serve the community, these differences must be reconciled in the day-day operations of the joint facility.

School libraries and public libraries have different missions and constituencies. School libraries provide essential materials and technology for curricular and instructional needs. School library media specialists teach information literacy skills essential for academic achievement and prepare students to be lifelong learners. Public libraries are centers for community life and learning, offering people of all ages free and open access to information resources, programs, technology and meeting space to support a broad range of educational and leisure interests. Public libraries must offer all members of the public full and open access with few permissible restrictions and are usually open from 9:00 am until 9:00 p.m. on weekdays and also on weekends.

I’m hoping we’re able to work through these obvious hurdles, because one facility that can serve both schools and the public at large would be incredibly powerful. It would also be a great bargain to the community. But, we have to face the different roles served by each.

In the end, I hope we create a great joint use agreement, because I’d like to see as many public library points of service in as many school buildings as possible.

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Two possible new joint use (public/school) libraries (Oakville and Cosmopolis)

When the board met almost two weeks ago (I need to really be better about these updates) we received updates on two possible library projects, both of which could be joint use public/school libraries.

We’ve been talking about the possibility of a new Oakville library for the past few months, but now the details are beginning to firm up.

For the Oakville, Timberland has brought in an architect to start putting details together for the various possibilities, which include various combinations of a library, community center and museum. All these could either be included in a revamped library inside the existing Oakville school or in a new free standing building on school property.

The discussion on revamping the current school library for joint public/school use was very interesting to me. A cheaper option compared to the standalone option ($500,000 vs. $1.5 million), it is also already he same size as what a stand alone library would be. There is also a possibly incorporating the existing school collection (which is apparently underused) into Timberland’s.

In Cosmpolis, there is some interest in developing some level of library service there, possibly another joint school/public library.

Two things that I took interest in during the meeting:

  • Cosmopolis, though not having a library for a couple decades, has been an annexed city, paying property taxes to TRL. I’ve known this, but it was a good reminder.
  • Also, it is the impression of educators in Cosmopolis that students there don’t necessarily use the Aberdeen library, which I didn’t know.

Obviously, Cosmopolis is much less further on than Oakville, but I’m very excited that we’re moving in this direction.

More pressing to me is exploring exactly how we’d develop a joint use agreement with school districts. Balancing public access to a library while also recognizing that not everyone should be able to come onto school grounds will be tricky, I think.

But, there is obviously a great deal of good that can be done by getting library services into under-served communities, and joint use libraries just might be the answer.

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Filed under buildings, Meeting reports, Oakville, What Timberland is doing