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JRVLS planning; Library Board ponders addition

Planning continues for the expansion of the Alfred Dickey Public Library, with some preliminary drawings focusing on changing the historic Alfred Dickey as little as possible.

“We talked to (the architect) before this and we told him some things that were priorities for us, and we kind of wanted to see what he’d come up with for the space,” said Library Director Joe Rector at Wednesday’s meeting of the James River Valley Library System Board of Directors. “I was happy with some of it. I wasn’t happy with all of it.”

Rector sketched out an alternative plan using the same footprint.

“For your information, the feedback I’ve been getting from people has been keeping the historic Alfred Dickey as close to the original as possible, and I think that people have a point on that,” Rector said.

Another change to the initial plan he would like to make is the addition of a second elevator, so that people do not have to leave the secured area to go upstairs to the bathroom or move books between floors.

Rector said he expected to get a better price per elevator when purchasing two.

In addition, architects had wanted to slope the landscape down around the renovated buildings, so that windows could be larger, but Rector expressed concern about snow and other debris becoming trapped there.

Jennifer Senger, assistant library director, pointed out that keeping the windows higher and slightly smaller would also offer the library more shelf space.

The planned expansion of the building will include two buildings on the library’s north side — the Maranatha building and the Maple Mall, which will together cost $774,000 and encompass 16,000 square feet of space.

The estimated cost of the project will be about $9 million, with about $1.25 million of that being paid for through donations.

The rest of the $7.75 million would be paid for by a quarter-cent sales tax that voters would have to approve on Election Day in November.

And in order to get the project on the ballot, project enthusiasts will have to collect 1,452 petition signatures, said Bill Kennedy, the library’s development director.

Kennedy discussed guidelines for circulating petitions for signatures with the board.

Petition pages have to be stapled together, and circulators can’t sign their own petitions. Each copy can only have one circulator and the petitions must be signed in the presence of that person. Signers have to be U.S. citizens as well as residents of North Dakota and Stutsman County for at least 30 days, and must be 18 years old the day of the election.

Elected officials, board members and staff cannot campaign while on duty, but can state facts only, according to Kennedy. When off-duty, they can state opinions.

The language of the petition is still being vetted, but is expected to be ready any day.

“There are people waiting for this now … I’d love to get 50 people doing this,” Kennedy said.

“We need all the help we can get on this since we only have a month,” Senger added.

In other news Wednesday, the Library Board:

* received the annual North Dakota Public Library Annual Report from the James River Valley Library System. The report showed an increase in use of Internet sessions at the library by the public — 21,814 as compared to the previous year’s 20,171 — and an increase in registered users, reference requests, children attending library-sponsored events and items in the library’s collection.

* approved raises and promotions for a few staff members. Laurel Woiwode was promoted to library assistant A and Betsy Ferwerda was promoted to Stutsman County Library branch manager. Barb Caine was given a raise in order to keep up with comparable wages in the area.

* received a draft policy for patron behavior. The policy includes the prohibition of “bodily hygiene so offensive as to unduly interfere with another patron’s use of the library” as well as prohibiting “disruptive use of cellular phones.”

Sun reporter Kari Lucin can

be reached at (701) 952-8453 or by email at