The Oregon Public Library is looking for input from the community about plans for a new building at upcoming events Monday, April 8, and Wednesday, April 10.

All are at Village Hall, 117 Spring St.

From 5:30-8:30 p.m. Monday, April 8, the general public is invited to gather in the Community Room to communicate their needs about the new library.

“We are holding some additional focus groups on April 10 that will be more of a small discussion format that will (look at) specific perspectives,” library director Jennifer Endres Way told the Observer.

In the morning on Wednesday, April 10, there will be a new building input session designed for parents with children and a preschool open play at the same time from 10-10:30 a.m. A 2 p.m. session is designed for seniors.

OPN Architects will kick off each event by introducing its team and providing an overview about the new library project, Way said, but the goal of the sessions is to listen and learn about what the public wants in a new library building.

“There are so many different perspectives in the community and people who use the library in many different ways,” Way said. “Getting as much engagement as possible will help us serve the needs of everyone.”

OPN Architects has also been working on a needs assessment, Way said, which involves comparing OPL to other libraries, analyzing Oregon’s population and determining how much space will be needed in the new building from everything from books to seats.

“We are hoping they will take this input and put together some (design) options for the library,” Way said. “Our request for proposals asked for (at least) two community input sessions.”

But that number could turn into three, as OPN puts together and finalizes designs for three options come May – based on data from the needs assessment and what the public brings up at the sessions.

The public would pick the preferred design option of the three at the additional session, Way said. That would likely take place in June.

The next step after finalizing the design would be fundraising, Way said.

“I want to see the community get creative,” Way said. “I think we have the opportunity to do more with a community meeting space.”

“We get inquiries for (community meeting space) all the time, but we currently can’t meet the need,” she added.

Way said anyone who isn’t able to attend the April 8 event but still would like to share an opinion can call 835-2322, email jway@oregonlibrary.org or complete the Share Your Thoughts form on the library website.

To register for the April 10 senior center event, call 835-5801.

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