GENEVA – Geneva Public Library director Matt Teske said he has seen the changes in how the public wants to use the library.
“People working in groups are expecting a quiet place to work,” Teske said. “Increasingly, people are looking to libraries to provide a meeting place for larger or smaller social interaction. The newer library buildings are being designed or refurbished with that in mind.”
Teske will do a presentation on Geneva’s library issues at the next board meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 24.
With 27,000 square feet serving a district of 31,000 people, the library has some specific challenges, such as no dedicated parking lot, no drive-up, dropoff and not much public space beyond the downstairs meeting room, officials said.
Officials recently backed off a planned purchase of land for a new building, going back to square one on what to do about the library’s future.
Teske said because of the focus on a new building, the library was in a kind of “limbo” on changing and adapting.
“We are at a time when we need to address these issues we held off on,” Teske said. “There are things we, as a staff, need to be providing, and we are starting to come up with more of a plan of how to be more proactive, how we will provide these things, other than waiting for a new building.”
Finding space is going to be a challenge.
Teske said that while the use of electronic books has grown, it’s not enough to depend on that to free up space from the library’s physical book collection.
“People are still checking out print books,” Teske said. “I don’t think anyone can set a date for print to go. I don’t think it will go, to be honest. I don’t’ think you could book on that – pardon the pun – so we cannot depend on that to free up space.”
If you go:
Who: Geneva Library Director Matt Teske.
What: Presentation on what services the library should do.
When: 7 p.m. Oct. 24.
Where: 127 James St., Geneva.
Why: Reassessing the library after officials did not buy land for a new building.