Keene Library

Reports on expansion plans for Keene Memorial Library and changes in the annual book sale fundraiser were among topics at the library advisory council meeting on Monday.

Not enough advisory council members were at the meeting for a quorum so no action was taken, but Jeff Hoffman, expansion committee chair, said he’s waiting for an answer from the City of Fremont to learn if there will be a bond issue before the campaign would begin.

As part of a capital improvement plan for the city, the council and the administrator identified 15 projects, which were narrowed to three priorities after town hall meetings, Hoffman told the Tribune. The library expansion project and renovation of Fremont City Auditorium were very high on the public’s list of wants.

Without money in the city budget for these projects, a bond issue was proposed for $2 million each for the library expansion, auditorium renovation and the addition of a lazy river to the Splash Station.

Hoffman said at the library meeting that he is waiting to see if there will be a bond issue vote and, if so, on what date.

“We’ve been told May 19, but we need to confirm that because nothing’s been publicized,” Hoffman said. “That really depends on what we do with the expansion, because we don’t want to start in January and have to restart everything to promote for the bond issue. We want to do it one series of events.”

Hoffman said he’s been told of two plans—one bond issue for $6 million for all three projects or three separate bond issues of $2 million for each project.

“Before we start working, we need to know exactly what we need to promote,” Hoffman said.

Other basic work has started however.

“We’ve been working on approaching people to serve on the (expansion) committee,” Hoffman said.

He’s also working on compiling a list of organizations to invite to future town hall meetings.

The meetings would be designed to serve as a way for citizens of Fremont to provide input on the proposed library expansion. The expansion, which would take place on the east end of the library, would provide more meeting and computer lab space to better serve the community.

Hoffman, who’s also chairman of the annual Friends of the Library book sale, mentioned changes planned for the 2018 event planned for April 11-14.

“This year, we are going to charge flat rates of 50 cents (per book) for paperbacks and $1 for hardbacks, no matter what size,” Hoffman said. “It will make check-out a lot easier.”

In the past, there have been approximately 12 different prices for books.

Also previously, Friends of the Keene Memorial Library members had a chance to look at the inventory early and buy books.

“We’re also not going to have members’ night,” Hoffman said. “We’re going to have a pre-sale.”

The cost to participate in the presale will be $10, but will not include a Friends’ membership.

Friends’ members will still get in during this year’s pre-sale event.

Hoffman attributed the change to declining attendance at past members’ events.

“If we charge $10, we will have more people who want to come early. Anybody can come so we’ll sell more stuff,” he said, adding, “We have a record amount of inventory.”

Some of that came from a couple of estates. Other inventory came from the antique store Yankee Peddler West, which in its downsizing has donated about 400 boxes, so far.

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More books are coming.

“We have as many books right now as we did at the time of the sale last year,” Hoffman said.

Talks are ongoing about how to organize this inventory to be more effective.

“Even last year, we couldn’t put all the books out. We didn’t get all the books out until Sunday so with even more inventory this year we’re going to have to figure out how to rotate things more quickly,” Hoffman said.

He also said the first set of shelves has been built for year-round book sales at Dave’s Drive-In Liquor at 1900 E. Military Ave. Books will be along with south wall inside.

“We’ll have some inventory there and so anytime Dave’s is open people can go shopping for books,” Hoffman told the Tribune.

Talks about how books will be displayed there will take place after Christmas.

“We’re excited about that because it will bring income all year round and it will help with this inventory issue,” Hoffman said.

Jeff Rise, owner of Dave’s Liquor, transports sorted books from the library to storage throughout the year.

The library advisory council meets at 3:30 p.m. the third Monday of each month. The meetings are open to the public.

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News Editor

Tammy Real-McKeighan is news editor of the Fremont Tribune. She covers news, features, religion stories and writes the weekly faith-based, Spiritual Spinach column.

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