Proposition Library Frequently Asked Questions
We have thoroughly enjoyed getting out in the community to share information about Proposition Library! At each meeting, there have been similar questions asked and we thought you might have the same questions, so we wanted to share the answers. As more questions pop up, we'll be adding to this list.
How long will the library be closed and where will you go?
If Proposition Library passes in August, the library will plan to move out of the current building in May 2024. Construction would start in summer 2024, and should last around 2 years.
While we have been working with local landlords and realtors, we don’t have a location yet. Once we get past August 8th, the library will work to secure a location. If you’ve ever moved a box of books, you know how heavy they are! Multiply that with an entire library, and there are certain building requirements we need to look for in a temporary space.
The most important part is that we will be open somewhere! Services will continue, even if they look a little different during the transition.
What about parking?
As we began to have community conversations regarding the library’s next chapter, it became apparent that the majority of our community wanted the library to remain downtown. Parking is always a challenge in the downtown area, but we are working with the County and City to see what options are available.
We do have 10 spaces in the parking lot across the street currently, as well as the lot next to the library, and parking on High Street, all of which are free. There is also metered parking on the street on Adams.
We also have curbside pickup, as well as locker systems at the mall, if that fits your needs better.
Why don’t you just build a new building somewhere else?
Several years ago, the Board of Trustees and staff worked together to determine the library’s next chapter. Several surveys and community meetings were held to decide what would be best for the community. During that time, it became apparent that the majority of our community wanted the library to remain downtown. Additionally, we are capitalizing on the fact the current library building has “good bones,” so it is a more fiscally responsible decision to renovate the current building, rather than build elsewhere.
What will this cost me?
If you go to www.mrrl.org/election, you’ll find the formulas to figure out what the increase will be on your home or vehicle. Proposition Library would result in an average 2.5% property tax increase for most households. You can also use the library-use calculator and see how much you’ve saved by using the library!
Why isn’t Osage County also being asked for an increase?
While Missouri River Regional Library is a two county system, both counties are supported through different taxes. The Osage County revenue supports the Osage Country Branch building, and the Cole County revenue supports the Cole County building.
There are three critical building updates that have to be completed sooner rather than later. The elevators and bathrooms barely meet current ADA requirements, and are not easily accessible to people who have mobility issues or parents with strollers. The cast iron pipes need to be replaced due to age, and the technological infrastructure is maxed out. A project like this does not happen overnight, and years of planning has gone into preparing for this. There’s never a “good time” to ask for more money, but it was important to the library to update the existing building without taking public space away while providing even better collections, programs, and services for our community The 1964 levy has lasted the library for almost 60 years, and our hope is that this one will do the same.
Does anyone even use the library anymore?
Yes! The library exists for more than just books, and many people in our communities use the library for a variety of reasons. In 2022, over 158,000 people came into the library and bookmobile, checking out almost 446,000 materials. 101,580 digital items were checked out, and almost 24,000 people attended programs and events. These numbers are rising in 2023, and are on track to be similar to 2018 numbers (the last “normal” year). Even if you don’t personally use the library, there are many people in our community who rely on the library, and consider it a lifeline.