Nevada County supports Truckee nonprofit’s plans for bigger library | SierraSun.com

Nevada County supports Truckee nonprofit’s plans for bigger library

The Truckee Library was built in 1972 on Levon Avenue thanks to a movement started by members of the Truckee PTO.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Friends of the Truckee Library's plans to bring Truckee a bigger, better library recently got branded with a crucial stamp of approval.

The nonprofit grassroots organization received a letter from the Nevada County Board of Supervisors, which voted Jan. 26 to support the FOTL's project for a new library.

"The Board recognizes there is public demand for expanded library services in Truckee," Nevada County Board of Supervisors Chair Dan Miller stated in the letter.

The current Truckee Library, which sits on Levon Avenue, is a mere 4,600 square feet, a congested space for a town population of 16,000 and growing.

Those interested in helping with the campaign or to learn more about future library plans can email the Future Library for Truckee committee at newlibrary 4truckee@gmail.com, or call Ruth Jackson Hall at 530-314-9368.

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In fact, since the Truckee Library was first built in 1972, the town's population has multiplied nearly five times — but the size of the library has not even doubled.

A needs assessment report commissioned by the FOTL in 2014 indicated that, based on the current population and estimated buildout, a new Truckee Library should be up to 20,000 square feet — close to five times its size now.

"The Board supports your vision to build a new library of up to 20,000 square feet in size in a new location," Miller said in the letter to the FOTL.

Miller went on to state that, while Nevada County does not have the "funds at this point in time to build the new library," the board "enthusiastically expresses its support" for FOTL to raise the necessary funds to complete the project.

"We think this letter symbolizes the commitment by the county board of supervisors to support the vision in Truckee for a new library," said Ruth Jackson Hall, former chair and current secretary of the FOTL. "Even though there's not a financial commitment, it's a vote of confidence for Friends of the Truckee Library that a key partner, the county, who operates the library, is willing to join us on this journey."

Where will the funds come from?

The estimated cost of building a new Truckee library would be in the $14 million to $20 million range, and roughly 2-3 acres of land would be needed, according to previous reports.

Hall said the organization's fundraising got a boost this past year as its end of the year donations were more than $9,000.

"It was around three times as much as we've received the last couple years," Hall continued. "I think we have been able to increase the awareness of the library and its value."

FOTL's plans for funding include a combination of fundraising, private funding, donations and grants.

What's more, the renewal of the Nevada County Library sales tax, which goes to vote in November, would play a key role in funding a new Truckee library.

Currently, roughly two-thirds of the Truckee Library's operations are funded by a one-eighth-cent sales tax that was first voted in in 1998 and later re-upped for 15 years in 2003.

San Francisco-based research firm Godbe Research is currently conducting polling — via an email survey sent to registered voters in the county — to assess the community's wants and needs in a new library, Hall said.

In addition, the idea of upping the library sales tax from one-eighth-cent to one-quarter-cent is being floated to the survey takers.

What the poll reveals will play a role in whether the sales tax amount will remain at one-eighth-cent or increase to one-quarter-cent on the November ballot, Hall said.

"It doesn't go as far as it used to," Hall said of the current one-eighth-cent sales tax. "Even to support the operations, we've lost a little ground in terms of days and hours of operation."

Above all, though, Hall hopes those who receive the survey will respond so the vision of a new library in Truckee can continue to build.

"That's part of what the polling will be about — what additional services people want?" Hall said. "So we're sustaining a level of service and adding more benefits to be a more modern library that is meeting the needs of people today."

Those interested in helping with the campaign or to learn more about future library plans can email the Future Library for Truckee committee at newlibrary4truckee@gmail.com, or call Ruth Jackson Hall at 530-314-9368.

Learn more

Visit truckeefol.org/newlibrary.htm to learn more about the Friends of the Truckee Library and the Future Library for Truckee committee.