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Front Page » November 9, 2004 » Local News » Plan to construct joint library gathers momentum in county
Published 3,667 days ago

Plan to construct joint library gathers momentum in county


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By MELANIE STEELE
Sun Advocate reporter


CEU students prepare for classes using the tools available at the school's library. The combined resources of the proposed joint library would give CEU students, along with Carbon County residents, access to more materials and technology than the individual groups can currently offer.

The effort to bring a joint library to Carbon County continues to gather steam as local municipalities and the College of Eastern Utah prepare for fiscal planning of the high tech facility.

According to Price Mayor Joe Piccolo, a site location will need to be determined, although the southwest corner of CEU's campus is currently under consideration.

Architectural design will also be needed for a conceptual layout of the library.

Design of the facility must take into account the unique needs of college students versus the needs of the community.

For example, the library will need an area for children that will not interfere with the quiet study environment needed by CEU students.

Planners project that the pooled resources of Price city, Carbon County's special service district and CEU will allow for the library to offer extensive technology and materials that would otherwise not be possible.

"Right now, you have to drive to Orem to get this type of facility," pointed out Piccolo. "The library would put us in the 21st century."

For CEU, providing library services to the community will be nothing new; the public already has access to CEU's library.

"We've just always welcomed the community here," commented director Barbara Steffee. "We are their library, too."

In order to make the library a success, though, Steffee said it will require that all entities in the area participate.

"Everyone needs to chip in," indicated Steffee. "One person can't buy it for everybody."

Carbon County would not be the first community to combine the resources of the public and local collegiate library. In fact, planners have patterned many of the ideas for the facility after a collaborative library in San Jose, Calif.

The idea for a joint library in the California city was conceived in 1996, when San Jose State University president Robert Caret and Susan Hammer, then mayor of San Jose, faced similar problems. The problems included crowded main libraries, the dire need for technological upgrades and the lack of space for expanding collections, according to the San Jose Library Organization.

"Neither leader had the financial resources to address these needs alone. After comparing notes, the mayor and the university president reasoned: Why not join forces and build a a new facility that could greatly improve library service to both the city and the university?" continued the library organization.

In 1997, Hammer formally announced plans for a new joint city-university library. Groundbreaking for the library started Oct. 20, 2000.

The organization stated that through the joining of the two library systems, it strives to accomplish the following goals:

•Enrich lives by fostering lifelong learning and ensuring that every member of the community has access to a vast array of ideas and information.

•Provide students, instructors and the community access to the information they need for educational and personal growth throughout their lives.

•Support San Jose State University Library's educational mission in expanding the base of knowledge through research and scholarship.

Piccolo said he hopes Carbon County's joint version will serve as an epicenter for the community and others to draw attention to southeastern Utah as a geological wonder.

"We're going to make a beautiful facility that people gravitate toward," commented.the Price mayor.

Piccolo said he also hopes that, if Price supports the development of the library, the facility will draw attention to the CEU campus and bring more people to attend school in the area.

"The college is probably the largest economic gem in our community that is underdeveloped," concluded Piccolo. "Price city needs to be the catalyst of the community and excite things to go forward."


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