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Library sees continued growth in 2018

Rita Ennen, Dickinson Public Library director, left, and Joe Larrivee, Bartlett & West architect, detail plans for a library renovation and expansion at Tuesday's meeting of the city commisssioners. (Brandon L. Summers / The Dickinson Press)

Dickinson Public Library saw increases in the number of visitors and use of services in 2018.

Library Director Rita Ennen detailed the library's successes last year to city commissioners at their regular meeting Tuesday.

Between its three sites, the library was open 5,275 hours total, with the majority of those at the main library in Dickinson.

The bookmobile contributed 1,075 of those hours, making 333 stops and covering 14,416 miles in 2018.

The library boasts 11,621 registered borrowers, which is just over 36 percent of the city's 2017 population estimate for the library's service area.

There were nearly 87,000 visitors last year, and 106,079 total checkouts of materials, up by 787 from 2017, a 1 percent increase.

The number of print materials available decreased by 1 percent, or 910 items, to 94,577.

Physical video materials increased though, by 13 percent, to 8,722 items, up by 984 items.

"It's one of our most heavily circulating collections," Ennen said.

All collections totaled, 154,798 items, up 4 percent, by 6,595 items, from 2017, Ennen said.

Attendance at 305 programs totaled 31,678, with 16,807 kids, 4,891 teens and 9,980 adults participating.

"The most remarkable thing about all of that is, most of our increase this year was in greater number of adults attending our programs," Ennen said.

Details were also provided for the library's planned expansion and renovation.

A facility assessment report first had to be completed, Joseph Larrivee, Bartlett & West principal architect, told commissioners.

"The space needs to be increased by about double to accommodate all of the programs, the collection areas, department spaces, and especially, critically, public space for meetings," he said.

Preliminary designs were shown.

The main building's lower level will be devoted to the children's libraries, with an expansion of reading spaces, as well as children's reading and meeting areas.

An addition to the east side of building, around the bookmobile garage, will provide for "badly needed" staff space, a staff lounge and bathrooms, Larrivee said.

The entrance will be expanded further into the courtyard, and the courtyard will be expanded down the length of Second Avenue West.

It will be a two-story atrium space.

The addition will feature a public entrance accessible on weekends for community events when the library itself is closed.

The new spaces will feature study rooms and the addition will feature exhibit and gallery space, an auditorium and "maker rooms," Larrivee said.

"These are flexible, multi-use rooms that can be used for everything from workshops and teaching spaces to other meeting spaces for the public," he said.

When completed, the library will appear as a singular facility.

"This provides, I think, a full optimization of the library property," Larrivee said. "Demolishing that south end of the block provides the opportunity to bring the entire focus of the library into one whole of a building, rather than different buildings in different pieces."

Construction costs are estimated at $10.5 million to $12 million.

"We can sharpen the pencil, dial in the numbers as we go through the successive phases of design," Larrivee said.

Construction would last about one year, and can be completed in phases so the library can continue to provide services.

A project date has not been set.

In other business:

Commissioners Tuesday also approved a task order with Apex Engineering for the expansion of Fairway Street.

The project will accommodate the development of the planned Dickinson Hills Shopping Plaza on west Interstate-94 business loop, Gary Zuroff, Public Works Director, explained.

"It's basically construction of Fairway and utilities within the city right of way," Zuroff said. "The improvements were designed by the owner, and the city of Dickinson is bidding the project and awarding the contract to the successful low bidder for the infrastructure."

Five Diamond Development of Draper, Utah, has promised to bring four anchor stores with the plaza: TJ Maxx, Hobby Lobby, Dollar Tree and Shoe Dept.

Construction is expected to begin this year.

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