SEASIDE - Seaside residents want books, books, and more books.
They also want a larger library, close to or at its current location.
Seaside City Council heard a formal report from Library Siting Committee Chairperson Cynthia Svensson at Monday's council meeting. The report was based on the committee's mailed survey of 25 percent of the registered Seaside voters, or 777 people. Of that, 37 percent of the surveys were returned, representing 9.3 percent of the registered voters. Svensson also included information from unofficial dropped-off surveys from community members and Seaside High School students.
Svensson reported that a 10,000 square-foot library would "make most people happy" and that most people would be willing to help pay for it.
Svensson also said that they city needs to be thinking about possible sites, because "most of the sites the last committee considered are gone, either sold or off the market." The council set a 6 p.m. Feb. 3 workshop with the library siting committee to discuss possible library locations, available city property and parking issues.
"We'd like to find property we own so we can use the money we have to start building," Mayor Don Larson said.
The library's building fund currently has $505,025.
If a new, larger library is constructed at its current location, more land will be needed to accommodate parking and the possible redesign of U.S. Highway 101. Another option would be city-owned property on Necanicum Drive, but again, more property would be needed to build a larger library.
"A third possibility would be to move, but stay near our current location," she said. "We don't have property available right now, but we need to make our needs and wants known. If that happens, we might end up with exactly what they city wants. It's kind of like putting a want ad in the paper."
Svensson said the siting committee would like to morph into a building committee, to begin properly talking about architect, funding and property.
Councilor Larry Haller mentioned property behind the Chamber of Commerce, between Highway 101 and Broadway Middle School, which might be a possible library location.
The library is busier than ever, according to Library Director Reita Fackerell, who gave a brief "state of the library" presentation. The library hosts more than 60,000 visitors annually, more than the Seaside Chamber of Commerce's visitor's bureau or the Seaside Civic and Convention Center. Library circulation has increased five percent over the previous year, with more than 32,000 items, including books, books on tape, videos, DVDs, magazines and Spanish language materials.