Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cedar Mill—Bethany Library Expansion this summer

photo, Bethany Village from the air
The Cedar Mill Community Library's Bethany branch will be moving in early summer. They recently signed a lease on a new space in Bethany Village. Plans are now underway to move the library across the street into retail space totaling more than 4,600 square feet.

This is 2 and a half times larger than the library's current space and will provide more room for books, children's programs and computers.

Cedar Mill Community Library @ Bethany opened in July 2007 shortly after voters approved the Washington County library levy.

Community response to the branch has been overwhelming. It was originally forecast that the library would loan 10,000 items per month. Actual lending in 2008 averaged 32,000 items per month and the library is now averaging 40,000 loans per month.

The branch is on track this year to having the highest loans per square foot of all libraries in Oregon.

With the high volume of use, there is a great need for more space to accommodate users, volunteers and books. Storytimes are now at capacity and library patrons often must wait to use the 3 public computers.

Cedar Mill Community Library is the largest non-profit public library west of the Mississippi. Since the library is not part of a municipal government with borrowing or taxing authority the expansion project relies on private support.

Funding for the expansion comes from library reserves, the Second Edition Resale shop and local community support. As community members step up to support the library, the library will be filled with more books, computers and furnishings—making the Bethany Library a comfortable and attractive community resource!