Representatives from the Friends of the Intermountain Library (FOIL) are going to the Board of Supervisors meeting on September 12 to request the release of $400,000 which was set aside from the Hatchet Ridge Wind Project for the purchase of a new library building in Burney. The meeting will be on September 12 at 9 a.m. in Redding. Members of the public are welcome to attend.
The funds were set aside on condition that FOIL could raise adequate funds to be sure that the project can be completed. FOIL has raised over $140,000 in cash plus $20,000 in pledges and developed a plan to use volunteers and in-kind donations to accomplish the project.
If their plan is approved by the Board of Supervisors, FOIL intends to purchase the building at 37116 Main Street in Burney to house the new library. Shasta County will own the building. FOIL will take responsibility to renovate the building for use.
The old library building, located at 37038 Siskiyou Street, was built in 1969. It has 1700 sq. feet of space. The new building will have 4800 sq. feet. The larger space will enable the library to expand its collection of books, provide more room for children’s activities, add space for individualized instruction and computers, and create a venue for community meetings and activities.
The old library building does not meet current building codes. It is located in a flood plain. It does not provide adequate air-conditioning in the summer or heat in the winter. The fluorescent lighting is inefficient and seating is limited. Parking is insufficient. When it snows in winter, the library may be closed because the street is often not plowed until late afternoon or the next day.
The new building will be up to code, well air-conditioned and heated, and energy efficient. There will be adequate parking. Located prominently on Main Street, it will be one of the first areas for snow removal.
Shasta Public Libraries maintains three branches, the Redding Library, the Anderson Library, and the Burney Library. The purpose of the Burney Library is to serve the entire Intermountain Area of Shasta County including Big Bend, Round Mountain, Montgomery Creek, Burney, Hat Creek, Cassel, and Fall River Valley.
A public library associated with the Shasta Public Library can provide many advantages for the community. According to Deborah Dean, Branch Manager at the Burney Library:
Being part of the Shasta Public Library system has many advantages. All patrons have access to information tools and resources selected by trained librarians, resources not available with just a “google search,” including online databases and eBooks. The shared collection means quality, up-to-date materials are available county-wide. Books not in the Shasta system can be ordered through a purchasing program called Zip Books. The staff is trained in library practices, reference and reader advisory. Reference questions are answered using a network of resources from the State, County & City libraries and colleges and universities. Shared resources also include shared program materials for children and adults.
Furthermore, FOIL hopes that with the expanded facility, the Burney Library will be able to make available to people in the Intermountain Area some of the valuable services offered by Shasta County Libraries such as adult literacy and computer classes and veterans services.
In order for FOIL’s plan to be accepted by the Board of Supervisors, the county needs to be assured that all liabilities would be met and state regulations regarding building codes and labor regulations would all be complied with. Plans for renovation would need to be designed by a licensed architect or civil engineer. Using volunteers and in-kind services involves developing a new paradigm of public and private cooperation. The county needs to be certain that performance will be assured.
FOIL is confident that they have adequate resources and a workable plan. They are willing to work with the County to make sure that all requirements are met.
In preparation for the meeting, FOIL is asking that people in the Burney and the surrounding Intermountain area to communicate their support for the new library. FOIL is circulating a petition supporting the release of funds for the purchase of the new building. They are also asking that individuals write a letter or send an Email supporting “New Library Now!” to:
County Executive Officer, Larry Lees
Shasta County Administrative Office
1450 Court St., Suite 308A
Redding, CA 96001-1680
Fax: (530) 229-8238 Phone: (530) 225-5561
and to members of the Board of Supervisors.
David Kehoe – District 1 email@example.com
Leonard Moty – District 2 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Rickert – District 3 email@example.com
Steve Morgan – District 4 firstname.lastname@example.org
Les Baugh – District 5 email@example.com
Contact All Supervisors: firstname.lastname@example.org
1450 Court St., Suite 308B
Redding, CA 96001-1673
Phone: (530) 225-5557
Toll Free: (800) 479-8009
Fax: (530) 225-5189
FOIL is requesting that people also send a carbon copy, Bcc, of their Emails to FOILBURNEY@yahoo.com
People can express their views on the benefits the new library will offer or just write a simple sentence expressing their support.
FOIL Board Member Melanie Kerns said, “The more individual signatures, Emails, and letters we get, the better!”
For more information contact Melanie Kerns 530-335-2056 or Mary Barr 530-335-3596.