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Geneva library seeks company to do community survey

GENEVA – Officials from the Geneva Public Library want the community to be surveyed on its satisfaction with the library.

And while they seek the community’s views, they might also want to ask whether residents want a new library in a new location – an appraisal of the Sixth Street School property as a possible new site for a library was just completed, officials said.

The library board recently voted to have interim library director Marilyn Boria send out requests for proposals from companies that do such surveys. Companies interested in doing the survey are to respond by April 17.

Residents will be asked about their satisfaction with the library’s collections, services and facility, Boria said.

“The library district has not done a community survey since 2003,” Boria said. “We want to do a survey and gather opinions on issues from residents in the library district.”

Boria said the survey results will provide data for the board to consider, with regard to its services, collections and possible improvements to its current facility at 127 James St. in Geneva.

Boria said the library received an appraisal that it requested be done on the Sixth Street School site at 210 S. Sixth St. in Geneva, which is owned by Kane County and houses the Kane County Regional Office of Education.

Both county and library officials sought new appraisals of the property because the county wants to sell it. The 1924-built former school building is getting old, and its maintenance and repair costs are expensive, Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen has said.

Lauzen said the county got its appraisal two weeks ago. He said he expected the two sides will sit down together once the library board has a chance to consider its appraisal.

“If they want to buy it, I’m confident we will come to some good middle ground that serves all of our constituents,” Lauzen said.

The library was going to buy that site from the county 10 years ago for $1.02 million, but county officials never took final action for the sale to proceed.

The county has a 1989 agreement giving library officials the right of first refusal, which it exercised earlier this year.

Lauzen said if the library does not want to buy the property, he would put it on the market.

Boria said the appraisal will be on the agenda for the library board’s next meeting, which will be at 7 p.m. April 10, as it begins having two meetings a month while it looks for a new director.

“They have had no time to sit down and talk to the county,” Boria said. “They can’t talk to the county before the board itself talks about it.”

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