By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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“There were some funds that we thought we would get but did not — like a USDA rural development grant that would have given us $1 million and loaned us $2 million,” Library Director Theresa Percy said.
“We had to look to alternate funding.
“Right now, it looks like we'll be able to move back into the Carnegie facility at the beginning of 2015.”
The first three phases of the library upgrade — the renovation of the Charles Pink House, the seismic upgrade of the Carnegie building and its partial interior repair — are expected to be completed in December.
The library is in the process of raising private funds to subsidize the $556,000 outside renovation of the Carnegie building, scheduled to begin in the spring and end in the summer.
The final phase will be an $8.1 million replacement of the current one-story annex with a three-story expansion, Percy said, adding, “This expansion will allow us to continue [our] high level of service.”
“Historically, the community has been very supportive of the library,” Percy said.
A possible bond issue to help fund the wing is now under discussion, she said.
She expects the Port Townsend City Council to consider early next year asking voters to approve a bond in an August election, Percy said, adding that the amount of the potential bond issue has not been decided.
Construction on the Carnegie Library at 1220 Lawrence St. once was scheduled for completion in 2013 to celebrate its centennial.
In May, about 60 percent of the library's collection was moved to the Mountain View campus at 1919 Blaine St.
The rest of the collection can be accessed by request.
During the final construction phase, the library will need to find space for the remaining 40 percent of books as it cannot be occupied during that final phase, Percy said.
Since moving to the temporary location, book checkouts have fallen 16 percent, and foot traffic is down 33 percent when compared with 2011 numbers, Percy said.
“People are getting used to Mountain View, but it's a different environment that has a different feel,” Percy said.
“But people really love their Carnegie.
“It's clear that people here value and use their library at a very high level, and we deliver a high level of service to the community. ”
The library received some good news earlier this month when it received a three-star rating from the Library Journal for the second consecutive year.
The fifth annual LJ Index of Public Library Service ratings, which are from three to five stars, are based on 2010 data released by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and are determined by circulation, library attendance, program attendance and computer use on a per capita basis.
This year, 262 libraries nationwide received star designations based on their service output, according to www.libraryjournal.com.
The Port Townsend Library was rated in the category of libraries with budgets between $1 million and $4.9 million.
The journal counts grant funding as well as the annual budget, Percy said, so the library was placed in that category despite its 2010 budget of $999,265.
Donors to the library can contribute online at http://tinyurl.com/co3b8bo; by mail to the Port Townsend Pubic Library Foundation, P.O. Box 857; or in person at the library.
Library hours at the Mountain View campus are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.
The children's library hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. The children's library is closed Wednesdays.
For more information, phone 360-385-3181 or visit www.ptpubliclibrary.org.
Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.