Oct 15, 2007

Where Should New Troutdale Library Go?

"A citizens committee that has been working with county officials to study sites this year has narrowed the options to three. Two are downtown, and one is in the Troutdale Marketplace, home of the old Lamb’s Thriftway."

Mark Garber of the Gresham Outlook would prefer a downtown location for the new library. I've talked to several people on the site selection committee. They've all held their site selection cards close to the vest. I've talked to several downtown Troutdale merchants about siting the library downtown. I found no consensus among them. Some think a library downtown would be bad for business- would people who borrow books and DVD's for free at a library spend any money downtown? Some think it's the best place for the new library- foot traffic is, after all, foot traffic.

Some folks who live near the old Troutdale Thriftway store think the library would be a good fit there. Plenty of parking. Close to neighborhoods with kids and families- a prime target market of any public library. However, word on the street says that the current owners of the Thriftway store property aren't too hot on this kind of use. (Lamb's Thriftway has a long term lease on that portion of the site. They don't own the property.)

I have no preference. Frankly, I don't use the library as much as I used to. But as a kid, I practically lived at the old Midland Library on SE 122nd. Now? I use the internet for most research these days. I subscribe to a few magazines. Sports Illustrated. Harpers. Atlantic. Flying. Toastmasters, League of Oregon Cities. We get home delivery of the Oregonian (but maybe not for long- it's shrinking by the month.) We buy the Gresham Outlook from the racks (we had it mailed to us for a year, but I didn't like waiting until the afternoon to read it.)

Both the Oregonian and the Outlook have significant content online. However, I've been reading the Oregonian daily since I first learned to read at five years old. I LOVE that morning cup of coffee, the tactile feel of the paper, the SNAP of a great page fold. Oh yeah I was a newspaper boy, too. Eugene Register Guard, from seventh grade until I graduated from high school. I love newspapers!

If I were to go to the library for anything, it would be to read out of area, out or state, or international newspapers. At least, as long as newspapers are still printed. . .

No comments: