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New Imperial Beach Library Takes First Steps

if funding is located to pay for construction, a new library could be almost three times bigger than the current library and incorporate an existing community center.

Imperial Beach's current library is inadequate, said County Supervisor Greg Cox during a Jan. 23 City Council meeting.

"In Imperial Beach you have a library that is about 5,000 square feet. It's way undersized for a community the size of Imperial Beach. With 25-30,000 people you'd expect to see a library of anywhere between 10-15,000 square feet," he said.

To explore the possibility of finding $6-8 million from private and philanthropic organizations for a new 14,000 square foot library, a feasibility study was unanimously approved by the IB City Council Wednesday.

"We think that there may be some opportunities for people that may be looking into naming opportunities of some type in different segments of the library," Cox said.

Conceptual drawings of the library show a giant surfboard spans between street and Veterans Park entrances.

The new library may have a surf or ocean theme and would be built on current parking spaces behind the library and would combine the existing library and Marina Vista Community Center.

Among possible features in the new library are a larger space to use computers, a Poet's Patio, community room and designated space for children, teens, tweens and adults. There may also be more staff office space and a book store.

See a copy of the conceptual floor plan attached here in PDF form.

The county has already set aside $1 million for the project, Cox said.

If the study conducted by a contractor and paid for by the county finds that private funds may be available to pay for the new library, meetings will be held with the public and a committee that has been formed to review the study may continue on to help raise money.

Supervisor Cox identified a new library as a priority of his term in office after being reelected last fall.

"I want to get this done in the next four years and that's what I intend to do with your help," he told the Imperial Beach City Council.

The San Diego County Library was named the best library system in the nation last year by the Gale/Library Journal.

Libi Uremovic January 25, 2013 at 01:02 PM
no one uses libraries any more @sshole ....we can all do research on line...the library system in cali is able to borrow any book requested by the patron within three days so keeping a massive number of books on hand is no longer needed or economically practical... but you go right ahead and make some honey-sweet deals and 'find the funding' cox...you'll get away with it....
Libi Uremovic January 25, 2013 at 01:03 PM
'...a feasibility study was unanimously approved by the IB City Council Wednesday....' really? we don't have money for fireworks or a sports park.....but we've got $100,000 to blow on another 'study'...??
Mary Vollrath January 25, 2013 at 01:33 PM
And where will people park for this new library if the few existing parking spots are used? As far as the community room---will all the groups that meet there be tossed into the street; senior's stretch & flex class, tai chi class, yoga class, N. A. meetings, IB Women's Club.
Libi Uremovic January 25, 2013 at 01:42 PM
yes, it looks like their expansion plans would eliminate the senior center....o' well...the city wasn't funding the senior center anyway... and yes, expanding the library to holds hundreds of patrons when there's only enough parking for the staff might seem a bit short sighted to some.... ...of course they can just put in parking meters to solve the problem of of the taxpayer parking on the street 'just because they can'...
Virginia Syverson January 25, 2013 at 04:26 PM
I'm sorry for the negative comments about the potential new Library. There are some plans to address the parking issue. The new community room would be open to the same groups who use it now, but it would be even better. This would not cause any changes with the services or space of the highly respected Senior Center. For folks who think the Library is not being used, stop by to see for yourself. Finally, although it may seem impossible to believe, but in a town with 13% unemployment, there are lots of folks whose only access to a computer is the library. Libraries are changing to become community meeting places--not just storage for books.
Jennifer Smith January 25, 2013 at 05:08 PM
Thanks for the clarification Virginia, i think it's a great idea!
Salinde January 25, 2013 at 05:29 PM
huh? what planet do you come from? Libraries are used all the time and would be used more by children of IB if they had one to go too. Go to Coronado Library around 3pm during the week during the school year ....
IB Shel January 25, 2013 at 05:59 PM
Libraries are great places for kids to hang out, read, and learn new ideas. Not everyone can afford a computer at home. During heat waves, the library serves as a cooling zone for those that don't have air conditioning. The whole point of a library is to serve its community. That's exactly what the IB library does. Having a newer, larger, more useful one makes perfect sense for our community. Try thinking of others before making such resentful and insensitive remarks.
Libi Uremovic January 25, 2013 at 06:42 PM
it's tax payer money...we don't have money.....we don't have $8 million...it's not an emergency... and if they were 'considering parking' it would be in the plans ... the sports park is a great place for kids to hang out... but the city wants to close down the sports park because it can't afford it.... ...and the sports park has computers for the kids too....
Libi Uremovic January 25, 2013 at 06:44 PM
is it packed? is there no room to sit down? is there not another library for hundreds of miles?
ibbarbara January 25, 2013 at 06:57 PM
I would like to say that I was unemployed from 3/10 - 4/12. My unemployment check barely covered my rent, much less pay for extras such as internet & cable. I went to the library almost everyday. I was able to use their computers for a total if 2hrs each time that I went. If it weren't for the IB library, I would not have been able to find a job or apply for jobs. I was able to check my e-mails and sometimes watch Y&R which I no longer was able to watch anymore. I am happy to say that after 26mos of utilizing the services that the IB library provided I am now employeed again. Libi, I read your comments all the time and you seem like an intelligent woman to me, but you are so WRONG on this issue. Try going to the library and see for yourself what happens there. I am quite confident that you will see how busy our library is and see the need for expansion. Had it not been for the IB library and it's free services that they offer, I don't know how I would have been able to find a job. For these days, a job application is submitted online NOT in person. Thank-you IB library.
Libi Uremovic January 25, 2013 at 07:17 PM
you describe a situation where the current library served your needs.....and yes, that's what it's there for... you spend a lot of time in the library....is it run down...is it packed.... is there really a need to go into debt $8 million at this time..is this really a project that can't wait a couple years until we are financially sound..? the city is better off with a small library that's open and free to the public than having a large library that charges for services or is shut down for lack of funding...
Dante Pamintuan January 25, 2013 at 09:23 PM
As an Imperial Beach homeowner, my family pays property taxes that supports libraries, schools, streets, police, fire and other critical public infrastructure. I am raising my children to use the library instead of staying home and watching television and playing video games. Our society continues to accelerate at an amazing speed with technology and access to the internet. Knowledge is available than ever before. If the county and private funding can build and design a new library for the citizens of Imperial Beach, then great! Maybe the City of IB can get sponsorships. If not, and it remains the same size, then demand for a bigger and more efficient space will most likely be directed from the residents of Imperial Beach. There is always a solution. God bless. The BEST is before us!
Ed Sorrels January 25, 2013 at 09:37 PM
Libi, LOL, Once again I am forced to disagree with you, Thruout civilization one of the most important building's that we can build are the Librarys, They serve as learning centers for "Everyone" as not all households have a computer or even television. The most important obligation the present generation has is to educate the next generation. With your thinking we should stop paying school taxes when our children graduate I will always pay mine. We could use a new library But with the current financial condition of the state I can't quite say we "Need" one in the present term. That said if we can find the money both from public and private sources it would be well spent !
Libi Uremovic January 25, 2013 at 11:24 PM
it's ok to disagree with me ed - it shows that you have free thought and that's a good thing... i'm not against libraries ...i worked in a library for 3 years when my kid was in elementary school so she could come to work with me... my problem with it is that i think it's just another construction scam... politicians say 'kids' or 'vets' to elicit public appeal when it's all about creating a reason to spend money... dante's right on this point - '..demand for a bigger and more efficient space will most likely be directed from the residents of Imperial Beach. ..' and that's where the directive for a local library should come from ...the people, not the politicians or contractors... in the 70's merced built a big beautiful county library - much needed since it is the county seat, the largest town within 50 miles in every direction, and has a jr. college.... ...in the 80's they had to shut it down because they couldn't afford the upkeep... the city has no money for the sports park or fireworks, but it's paying for a study for the library....cox said he has a $ million - so why doesn't the county pay for the study itself ...?
Maryanne T January 26, 2013 at 05:08 AM
Have you ever been to our library in the afternoon after school. It is always crowded with waiting lists for computer use. Many kids around here cannot afford a home computer. Also the library is used by nearby school children for reading hours and story telling. All of which are important aspects of living and growing. Libraries are important and ours is very inadequate.
Mark January 26, 2013 at 05:57 AM
Maryanne T - do yourself a favor and do like the rest of us, ignore Libi. You will feel better.
Libi Uremovic January 26, 2013 at 02:25 PM
everyone needs to understand that they are only talking about the building.....they're not talking about funding the inside of the library... pg 315 on the county budget shows the following cuts in branch operations - which would include the ib library 2011/12 actuals 2012/13 2013/14 staff - 280.5 270.00 266.00 operations -$32,781,801 $33,415,948 $33,720,976 if the county has $ 1 million right now to put into the ib library - where would it be best utilized ...is the 'problem' with the library actually physical and structural...or would the money be better utilized on the inside.. is the need more computers, or more space...because there's a room on the north east end of the property that's i was told is kept locked up and rarely used...if more computer or study space is needed maybe that room can be converted... we've got to start making some wise choices as a community, state, and country... i've been to the property and it didn't appear old or worn down to me...the neglect i noticed was on the inside of the buildings, not the outside.... but i don't have kids or use the services, so i'm asking the people that use it - what is the actual problem and where would the money be best spent..?
Libi Uremovic January 26, 2013 at 02:37 PM
'...Mark...Maryanne T - do yourself a favor and do like the rest of us, ignore Libi. You will feel better....' and there you have the official word from the city...except he left out 'drunk heavily and pop pills'... ignore libi...ignore the economy... ignore 9th & palm...ignore the lighting scam on seacoast.... ...ignore the fact that the plans eliminate the senior center and has no parking ....ignore the loss of the library for however long it takes them to demolish the building and rebuild it.... ...and ignore that there is no funding for the inside... don't look...don't think....just ignore it ....and see how it works out for you.... personally - i don't care what the people do ...the results will not effect me....but don't cry your crocodile tears...and no blaming 'the liberals' or the 'far-right'... fool me once...fool me twice....fool me $16 trillion times ...
Libi Uremovic January 26, 2013 at 04:10 PM
i drove by the library..it is small...but it does have a parking lot in the back that will be eliminated ... the state might be willing to release the 9th/palm property to the county if the county can show that they actually have the funding for a new library and this isn't just another construction scam... putting up a new library on the 9th/palm property would save time & money by not tearing down the buildings at veterans' park... 9th/palm is large enough to provide plenty of parking, it's more centrally located than the current spot, and no one would be displaced... someone told me there's another empty lot a block from the post office that the city took over and tore down the building, but the lot sits empty... maybe they can use that lot... there's a dozen empty lots in this town ... tearing down another building is not needed... we've got to pay for this...don't just buy whatever they're selling....because your government officials are only selling you what's been sold to them...
someonewhowasconsideringmovingtoimperialbeach January 30, 2013 at 01:01 AM
Have you council rockheads forgotten there is a rising rancid creek polluting your city? Are you going to be like Bush and sit there and read a book while the towers go down? You people need to sort your priorities before a civil suit hits. You have an environmental disaster to deal with. #1. And as far as a library, let's hope the creek doesn't flood it out.
Crisantus Vincent De Guzman March 23, 2014 at 08:17 PM
Sounds like Libi hasn't had a man touch her vahj in years.

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