For those that frequent here in the to check out books, movies, use the Internet or partake in the classes offered at the location, imagine seeing cuts to these free resources. Consider what it would feel like if the heat broke in the winter and there were no funds to replace the system.
The St. Louis County Library System (SLCL) recently contracted to update its Facilities Master Plan, which lets those that manage the county libraries know the state of each building The findings, which are posted on the library’s website, indicate the need for significant capital improvements to meet growing community needs.
Based on the findings during the update of the master plan, the St. Louis County Library Board of Trustees approved a tax levy ballot issue at its meeting on April 16, aimed at renovations and replacements of the library’s aging facilities and enhancements to programs, collections and services.
“There is no question that our library and its branches are an integral part of our community, a vast educational asset and the core of our educational system outside the schools,” said library director Charles Pace, in a statement. “This is an investment that will be returned many times over well into the future.”
The tax levy would allow SLCL to address what it deems immediate challenges to its branches including leaky roofs and outdated HVAC systems. It will also allow for an updated master plan for the next 10 years, to include new branch buildings, enhanced areas for children and teens, and more meeting space for community groups.
"We’re excited about building a solid future for the library so we can continue to provide quality programs and resources that St. Louis County residents rely on," Pace said.
St. Louis County Library circulating more than 12 million items in 2011, and had more than 5.7 million people visit various branches. St. Louis County Library also has more than 30,000 children in its summer reading programs.
Prairie Commons Library has also served as the location for the recent at which presidential hopeful and .
The proposed increase would cost the average homeowner around $17.10 a year based on the County’s average $158,000 home, according to the library system.
More information about the ballot issue can be found at St. Louis County Libraries Matter.
The measure, which will appear on the November 2012 ballot, is the first increase the library has requested of voters since 1983.
See how the library system's tax levy compares to area municipal libraries:
Personal Property Rate
SLCL (Proposed Increase)
Valley Park Library
Rock Hill Library
Webster Groves Library