Library patrons to decide bond issue Tuesday
New building would better serve district, librarians say
A swarm of jovial children and parents crowded into the Basehor Community Library Tuesday morning for Toddler Time, a weekly presentation that stresses the importance of reading.
Stacy Kite, a Basehor resident, makes a habit of taking her daughter, 21-month old Natalie, to the presentations.
"Every week," Kite said. "She really enjoys it and we're voting yes."
Library officials are "crossing their fingers" that a week from now, plenty of voters side with patrons like Kite. Next week, voters in the 50-square mile library district will decide the fate of a $2.99 million bond issue that would pay for a new facility on 158th Street, between U.S. Highway 24/40 and Parallel Road.
The special election is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 28. Polling places, open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., are listed below:
¢ Basehor city precinct: Father Quinlan Hall, 15438 Leavenworth Road.
¢ Basehor township/Fairmount and Stranger/Stranger: Fairmount Township Fire Station, 2620 N. 155th Street.
¢ Glenwood/Fairmount and Walnut/Stranger: Glenwood Ridge Elementary School, 17550 157th Terrace.
Library director Carla Kaiser said programs like Toddler Time provide a positive service to the community. However, due to space limitations at the current building, 2812 N. 155th Street, those programs are sometimes to the detriment of other visitors.
A crowd of children and parents can quickly overcrowd the cozy, but small library, Kaiser said.
"(What) is a very good thing for one section sometimes becomes an imposition for (others)," said Kaiser, who's been at the library helm since it's founding in 1985. "They're having a good time discussing literature, but if you were to come in to study for a test, research a subject or do your homework, its not something you would want. It turns some people away."
It's the hope of library officials that a new building would allow them to offer more programs like Toddler Time without affecting service to other patrons.
The library also seeks to essentially double its collection of books, DVDs, videos, magazines, newspapers and computer stations. For instance, Kaiser said with a new building the library would have space available to bolster its collection of classics.
Currently, patrons would be hard pressed to find a complete catalog of works by literary icons such as Shakespeare or Charles Dickens. And, if it the classics aren't your thing, the same can be applied to past novels by popular authors such as Stephen King, Tom Clancy and Nora Roberts.
"We keep the more recent titles, but we don't have the space to keep the ones written eight or 10 years ago," Kaiser said.
Those books can be obtained through an inter-library loan program, but it may be several days before they come in, she added.
Library officials are hesitant to discuss contingency plans for what could happen if a successful vote isn't registered Tuesday. Right now, they're pinning their hopes on a strong voter turnout for Tuesday.
Kaiser and other officials will monitor the returns on Election Day in Leavenworth County.
"I hope this is the last time I have to watch votes being counted for a library bond issue," Kaiser said.
- Results from Tuesday's election will be posted on the Sentinel Web site, www.basehorinfo.com, once they are obtained from the Leavenworth County Clerk's office.