Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Five Possible Options Revealed for a New-Look Boise Library(!)

Posted By on Wed, May 7, 2014 at 2:53 PM

There was a tangible energy Wednesday afternoon in a third floor meeting room of the main branch of the Boise Public Library. That's where the library's board of trustees received a substantive update on something called the "main library vision project." Simply put, representatives from Architectural Nexus laid out preliminary proposals—there were five of them, some more ambitious than others—that will determine the main library branch's future.

"We tasked these gentlemen with several 'What if?' scenarios," said Kevin Booe, Boise Library director. "What if we stayed with our present building? What if we expanded our present building? What if we launched new construction?"

In the 1970s, Boise city officials decided to spend $2.6 million to purchase and renovate the old Salt Lake Hardware Warehouse into a new library at its current site on Capitol Boulevard. The original design of the library targeted a Boise population of only 75,000. The current layout includes approximately 78,000 gross square feet. And while Boise has expanded it library network to include three new neighborhood branches (Collister, Hillcrest, and Cole and Ustick), attendance at the main branch continues to grow, regularly topping more than 1 million in-person visits per year.

But Boise's population is expected to top 247,000 by the year 2020, 285,000 by 2030 and 328,000 by 2040.

And just based on current space at the library, experts estimate that the current layout is about 31,000 square-feet short of needed space for its services.

So, five possible options were unveiled Wednesday, giving library trustees plenty to mull over, while planners continue to determine the cost and needed space for each option:

Option 1: Only renovate the existing space with reducing the size of a loading dock and a great reduction in the size of the book collection. There would be no growth potential, but there would be a "somewhat better building for users."

Option 2: Renovate and expand, again with removals and a reduction of the collection. There would be enough space to meet the approximate needs for 10 years.

Option 3: A total renovation with some collection reductions, meant to meet the needs for 15 years.

Option 4: Add so-called "high density" shelving and storage, allowing the collections to grow, meeting the needs for the next 20 years.

Option 5: Construction of an all new building, meeting the needs for the next 20 years, but using less total space due to efficiencies.

Option 5 would also allow the existing library building to be re-used for possible apartments, condos or retail space. The new library would be able to be constructed on existing library space.

Planners are expected to be returning in July with some more numbers, including approximate costs, for each of the proposed options.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mexican Consulate Presents Latin American Resource Materials to Boise Public Library

Posted By on Wed, Mar 12, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Left to right: Boise Public Library Director Kevin Booe, Consul Guillermo Ordorica and Mayor Dave Bieter - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • Left to right: Boise Public Library Director Kevin Booe, Consul Guillermo Ordorica and Mayor Dave Bieter

The Mexican Consulate in Boise gifted a set of Latin American resource materials for grade school-age students to the Boise Public Library.

Receiving the resource materials—texts covering Spanish and Latin American history and language to mathematics—were Library Director Kevin Booe and Mayor Dave Bieter.

The gift is a formal acknowledgment of the ongoing partnership between the consulate and the library, where consulate-issued identification documents, available to approximately 250,000 Idaho residents, have been a viable form of identification during the process of obtaining a library card. 

"This presents [Mexican nationals] with the opportunity of presenting an identifying document ... that's issued by our consulate," said Consul Guillermo Ordorica, who presented the library director and mayor with the gift. 

"The really important part is learning English, other skills," said Booe. 

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

America's First Printed Book: $14.2 Million

Posted By on Wed, Nov 27, 2013 at 4:15 PM

The Bay Psalm Book, a translation of Biblical psalms, is seen at Sothebys in New York on Nov. 26, 2013. The book, printed by Puritan settlers in Massachusetts in 1640, was sold for more than $14 million, becoming the worlds most expensive book.
  • "The Bay Psalm Book," a translation of Biblical psalms, is seen at Sotheby's in New York on Nov. 26, 2013. The book, printed by Puritan settlers in Massachusetts in 1640, was sold for more than $14 million, becoming the world's most expensive book.

It's believed to be America's first printed book. And now it's the world's most expensive.

The Bay Book of Psalms, a translation of Biblical psalms published in 1640, sold for a record $14.2 million the night of Nov. 26 at Sotheby's in New York, setting a new world auction record for any book.

The previous record of $11.5 million was set in December 2010 for John James Audubon's Birds of America.

The tiny volume of psalms is one of only 11 known to have survived out of roughly 1,700 printed by 17th-century Puritans in Massachusetts. It actually predates the founding of the United States, according to The New York Times.

It was one of two owned by Boston's Old South Church, which voted to sell it to increase its grants and ministries.

David M. Rubenstein of the Carlyle Group, an investment firm in Washington, D.C., purchased the piece of history. He plans to loan it to libraries across the U.S. before it will be put on long-term loan to one of them.

Rubenstein has bought a number of historical documents in recent years, including a copy of the Magna Carta for $21 million in 2007.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mayor Dave Bieter Joins Brothers to Dedicate Library’s New/Improved Idaho Room

Posted By on Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Mayor David Bieter, with the help of Judge Christopher Bieter and Dr. John Bieter, will dedicate Boise Public Library’s new Idaho Room in a ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 12 at 10:30 a.m. on the third floor of the main library downtown.

The room was moved this summer to a larger space that was used for storage before. The new room features lower shelves, wider aisles, lots of windows and large tables to make the space a comfortable place to look into Idaho history.  A large meeting room has taken the place of the Idaho Room on the third floor, with seating for 50 and the installation of a SmartBoard.

The Idaho Collection, housed in the new room, includes nonfiction books and documents by Idaho authors or pertaining to Idaho, a file of Idaho news, sound recordings by local musicians, Boise city directories and historic maps of the state. Items cannot be checked out.

Library Director Kevin Booe asked the brothers Bieter to dedicate the new Idaho Room “for several reasons.”

“The Bieter family has been an important part of Idaho history, and strong supporters of Library services. Dr. Bieter [an adviser and professor at Boise State University] is a frequent user of the Idaho Collection,” Booe said in a press release.

The collection includes Dr. Bieter’s book, An Enduring Legacy: the Story of Basques in Idaho, and the Bieters' father’s book, The Basques in Idaho.

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Price of Getting Architectural Options For New Boise Library: $262,000

Posted By on Sun, Apr 7, 2013 at 10:49 AM

When the Boise City Council meets this Tuesday, April 9, lawmakers will be asked to slide some money around in order to fund something called the" Library Vision Project," which will move forward with plans to ask an architectural firm to prepare options to either renovate or build a new downtown main branch for the Boise library system.

But architectural plans don't come cheap: A winning bid came in at a cool half-million dollars. Library officials said they negotiated the cost down to $262,000 but that's still more than double the budgeted $100,000. As a result, the City Council will be asked Tuesday to move $162,000 from a management contingency acount in the city's General Fund over to the Library Vision Project in the city's Capital Fund.

The main library branch's orginal design targeted a Boise population of 75,000. But Boise's population has ballooned to over 210,000.

In 2000, a consultant estimated that it would cost $40 million to build a new 185,000-square-foot facility. In 2010, the idea for a new main library resurfaced, but by then, the projected construction cost had balooned to $118 million.

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Boise Library Trustees to Open Book On 'Vision Project' to Study Future of Main Branch

Posted By on Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 9:58 AM


When the Boise Public Library Trustees meet this coming Wednesday, April 3, they'll be briefed on something called the "Main Library Vision Project," which resurrects the the formal conversation about what to do with the city's main branch: either undergo a major renovation or build a new branch, which could become one of the largest and most expensive public construction projects in Idaho history.

The building's orginal design targeted a Boise population of 75,000. But Boise's population has ballooned to over 200,000.

In 2000, a consultant estimated that it would cost $40 million to build a new 185,000-square-foot facility. In 2010, the idea for a new main library resurfaced, but by then, the projected construction cost had balooned to $118 million.

"We're in the dreaming stage right now," Boise Public Library Director Kevin Booe told Boise Weekly in December 2012. "Our library, as anybody who has been here knows, the main library is quite cramped. We need to do some things to update this facility for the 21st century."

This Wednesday, trustees will be told that work on crafting Main Library design options will commencce in April, beginning with data collection.

"The consulting team will be collecting usage statistics, building condition reports, the prevous Main Library building program statement, and staff feeback," according to a new report from Booe.

Phase one of the vision project is scheduled to be completed in the next 60 days.

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Boise Hones in On New Main Library Facility

Posted By on Thu, Dec 6, 2012 at 3:50 PM


In this week's issue, Boise Weekly examines new steps taken by city officials to look closer at the possibility of building a new main library (BW, News, "Read All About It," Dec. 5, 2012), which estimates say could cost as much as $119 million.

Library Director Kevin Booe referenced that story in an email sent out to "library leaders," updating the citizenry on the status of a project—launched this month—to create new design options for the new facility.

"This week, the Boise Weekly ran a story about the project that will certainly prompt some questions and I want you to have some background information regarding our project," wrote Booe.

Booe mentioned a study conducted in 2000, which identified needs for a new library comprising 178,000 square feet, which received an updated nine-digit price tag in 2009. Now Booe said the library plans to develop new options that he expects will reveal lower cost estimates and a smaller size as the library reevaluates service needs for the facility.

"We are basically hitting the 'reset' button and starting over on developing a Main Library option for Boise," wrote Booe.

Booe expects what he called the "visioning project" to be completed in April 2013.

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Street Law Clinic Proposed For Main Library Branch

Posted By on Sun, Dec 2, 2012 at 10:04 AM

The Idaho Trial Lawyers Association, in partnership with the University of Idaho and Concordia law schools and the Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program, is hoping to set up monthly law clinics at the Main Branch of the Boise Public Library.

The Library Board of Trustees will be asked Dec. 5 to provide space for the clinic that, if approved, could begin in February 2013 and would be be held for two hours in the evening once or twice a month.

The so-called Street Law Clinic would be staffed by at least two supervising attorneys and two to six law students, providing pro bono legal services "to those who desperately need it," according to the ITLA. The association is promising to provide its own computers, printers and resource materials, if approved.

According to the ITLA, "the law student participants benefit by gaining some hands-on real legal experience, the opportunity to network within the legal community, and fullfilling their pro bono requirements. The volunteer attorneys get to mentor students and fullfill their pro bon service. Additionally, Ada County prosecutors and public defenders may wish to participate."

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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Correction: Boise Main Library Looks at $35,200 Remodel of Third Floor

Posted By on Sun, Sep 30, 2012 at 10:01 AM

When the Boise Library Board of Trustees convenes Wednesday, Oct. 3, it will be briefed on a remodel design for nearly 8,000 square feet of the main library's third floor.

Already budgeted for the coming fiscal year, the proposed project includes an expansion of administration offices and moving the Idaho Room to a larger space while remodeling the existing Idaho Room into a larger public conference room.

Trout Architects is taking the lead on the project, which totals $35,200. $35.2 million.

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Bookmobile Generators Fail Prior to Being Retired For Good

Posted By on Sun, Sep 2, 2012 at 10:42 AM

The Boise Public Library Bookmobile has died without even reaching the finish line.

On Aug. 5, Citydesk reported that the Boise Public Library had decided to put the bookmobile up on blocks, beginning Monday, Oct. 1. Library trustees, pointing to declining usage over the past five years and budget reductions for Fiscal Year 2013, decided to eliminate the service that grew its presence through much of the late 20th century.

Notice of the suspension began being distributed to patrons on Aug. 15.

But on Aug. 24, the bookmobile's generators failed. Instead of fixing the generators, library officials decided to supplement the service by distributing books using library vans until the end of September.

The Library struggled with the bookmobile's ongoing mechanical issues over the years. Officials said a yearly budget of $82,500 was required for fuel, staff, maintenance and repairs. A new vehicle was estimated to cost as much as $500,000.

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