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Stark County District Library Boards Reconfirms Commitment to Build New Branch in Jackson Township

September 27, 2017 (Canton, Ohio) – Stark County District Library (SCDL) is moving forward with plans to design and construct a new building to house the Jackson Township Branch of the library system. The decision was reconfirmed this evening with a vote by the Board of Trustees to proceed with the planning for the new building.

The Board decided in 2016 to replace the original Jackson library facility with new construction, after an extensive study showing the costs to repair and remodel the old building would be nearly as much as that to build an entirely new branch.

To ensure continued service to the local community following demolition of the old library and until a new one built, an interim branch was established in an available space in Buehler’s Plaza. The smaller facility was created only as a temporary solution until the new branch could be built; it was never intended to be a permanent option.

Meanwhile, the success of the interim branch, as evidenced by utilization data and cost effectiveness, far exceeded expectations. As such, the Board invested time recently to explore the possibility of significantly expanding that interim space as an alternative to building an entire building. In addition to studying quantitative data, the analysis was expanded to include qualitative input from the community of Jackson Township. In a series of three community meetings hosted by the Library in recent weeks, local residents expressed a strong preference for a new building to be constructed.

Based on that community feedback, a recently completed report from the Finance Committee, and the recommendation to proceed with the new construction by Executive Director Tena Wilson, the Board of Trustees voted tonight to reconfirm its decision to build a new facility.

Board President Steve Pittman expressed appreciation to the Jackson community for its engagement in the dialog. “To everyone here tonight and to all who participated constructively in those public meetings, emailed or called, I want to thank you on behalf of the Board and the staff of the Library. The large majority of your feedback and input was indeed constructive and valuable. We heard you. We thank you. And we appreciate your strong commitment to the Library.”

The Board also thanked and commended Tena Wilson for her initiative that led to a robust dialog about the future of the library in Jackson. “We are fortunate in Stark County to have an Executive Director who understands the need to both build on our best traditions and to be innovative in ensuring the library stays relevant to our changing community needs,” according to Pittman. “Please know that this board appreciates your dedication and your leadership.”

The meeting concluded with the Board directing the Buildings Committee Chair Bob Belden to move the project forward.


ABOUT THE LIBRARY

One of the 9 largest library systems in Ohio – and the county’s oldest library – Stark County District Library serves the community through 10 locations, six mobile libraries, and a 24/7 digital branch.

A 2009 winner of the prestigious National Medal for library service, the Library serves over 140,000 active cardholders, annually circulating 3.85 million items from its 1.5 million item collection and providing access to an additional 66 million items from lending networks throughout Ohio. Each year the library presents more than 9,000 programs for 175,000 attendees and provides 240,000 computer sessions on the publicly available computers found in each branch.

Today, as it reimagines itself as The Smart Store, where everything is free®, the Library is emerging as a national thought-leader with innovations such as its “no overdue fines” policy, the BikeSmart bike sharing network, and the Start Smart School Partnership.

For more information, call 330.452.0665 or visit http://www.starklibrary.org.

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Stark County District Library: Start Smart. Stay Smart. Share Smart.