Survey Results Indicate Library Should Seek Less in Private Funding

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Published on July 18 2012 3:47 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Survey results indicate that the Helen Matthes Library Board should seek less in private funding for the library expansion project than was hoped.

Library Director Amanda McKay said 34 individuals of 50 contacted participated in the survey.  The majority thought that the library might be able to raise between $1.5 and $2 million in private funds, rather than $4 million that was suggested when plans to renovate the current 5/3 Bank building into a library were announced.

McKay said that information, combined with word from the State that Helen Matthes' request for grant money was not funded led board members to request some time to decide how to proceed.  She said the members will meet in special session later in July or in early August to discuss their options.

McKay said the Board could consider whether to pare back the scale of the project or whether to seek other funding sources.

She said the majority of the respondents had high regard for the library, and saw merit in the project and the downtown location, just not in the amount of private funding being sought.

As to the state grant request, McKay said 47 Illinois libraries sought $112 million in funding.  She said $50 million in funding is being awarded.  McKay said the library's request for funding was accepted; the funding just ran out.  She hasn't heard yet which requests in the state will be funded.

In other business, the library board heard that response was gratifying for the children and adult Summer Read programs with over 300 adults and more than 1,000 children registering to participate.

The Board voted Monday to renew a parking lot lease at 212 North 4th Street.