Lack of resources limiting Kings Beach Library growth
Despite space constraints at the Kings Beach Library and efforts by community members to push for an expansion, the library site is not high on the county’s list of priorities.
“At the current time, we have no plans to expand Kings Beach Library,” said Mark Parker, Placer County director of library services. “We know there is a real space deficit, but we don’t have the resources at this time.”
Marian Jordan, a community member who spearheaded efforts to build the current library on Secline Drive in the 1980s, has met with Parker and other county officials about expanding the building. Jordan noted that when the library was built in 1988, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency had a moratorium on new buildings so the library had to be built on the existing foundation.
“The need for more space was obvious the day we took possession of this house,” Jordan said. “I am thinking big this time. We are beginning to think about a new extension. It has been planned since I took this building.”
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However, libraries in other parts of the county took precedence when the Placer County Board of Supervisors listed its priorities in January. The cities of Rocklin, Colfax and Foresthill all need larger libraries and it is a matter of a growing population in those areas, Parker said.
Parker also said Foresthill and Kings Beach were “neck-and-neck” on the list of priorities, but that a private donor came forward for Foresthill, which pushed that library’s expansion ahead of Kings Beach.
“What it really takes is the community and community support and politicians to come together,” Parker said. “It is a fluid process.”
The Kings Beach Library is currently 1,380 square feet and the county has determined it should be 2,300 square feet for the 5,854 people to whom it provides service, Parker said.
Another deterrent to expanding the library is the Griff Creek Stream Restoration Project, headed by the Placer County Department of Public Works. The stream project, which would restore abandoned flood plains and improve fish passage, would need to be altered to accommodate an expansion, according to Dan LaPlante, an associate civil engineer.
LaPlante said he is willing to ask the county for an easement to provide land to the library for an expansion and that he is willing to work with the Friends of the Library, which is seeking the expansion.
Although Kings Beach library may not be expanding in the near future, Parker said the county has made recent improvements, including installation of new carpet, replacement of the photocopier and that two more Internet-accessible computers would be added in the near future.
If a private donor came forward, or the community raised its own money like it did in
the 1980s, the Kings Beach Library could be expanded sooner, Parker said.
“We need to provide a high level of service in all our libraries and they would be a good candidate,” Parker said of Kings Beach. “If there was a substantial donor we would jump on it.”
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