Saturday, November 1, 2008

Library/Iowa: Marshalltown Public Library - A New Library for a New Century

In Marshalltown, IA, a New Library Building Emerges
Rita Ormsby / Library Journal /10-27-2008

“New Library for a New Century” will cost $9 million

First public library in state to seek LEED "silver"

Civic involvement spurred many contributions

The first public library in Iowa to seek LEED “silver” certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is nearing completion in Marshalltown, a county seat of 26,000 people about 50 miles northeast of Des Moines. The current Marshalltown Public Library, a five-level Carnegie building, was built in 1902 and expanded in 1974. It has for years been overcrowded; the new 35,670 square foot building, on one level, will double the space.

In a state with many other Carnegie buildings that need replacement, library director Carole Winkleblack ... has been fielding inquiries from other Iowa librarians considering new building projects. The lesson from Marshalltown, she says, is that civic involvement is crucial to fundraising, going green, and even moving the collection.

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After professional movers finish the job, the new library is scheduled to open on December 22 [2008].

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New features

The new library includes a pavilion—a casual space for parents to read to their children—a youth programming area, and a café. Seating for adults and youth will increase, and meeting rooms with a capacity for 150, limited now to 25, will be available for public use after-hours. The 100 daily users vying for time on the current library’s six Internet stations will find 22 new Dell computers.

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Seeking LEED

While a sustainable building had been under discussion, the decision to do so was accelerated when a Vision Iowa Board member asked, “Are you building green?” The USGBC awards "green" points in broad categories of energy and atmosphere; indoor environmental quality; sustainable sites; materials, and resources; and water efficiency.

The new library is situated downtown on a “recycled” building site, previously used as a parking lot. Its location will permit pedestrian access. In addition to the donated heating and cooling units, the solar panel photovoltaic array will convert sunlight to electricity. Sunscreens and high-performance glazing on the large exterior windows will maximize sunlight and minimize the heat passing through the glass.

Along with access via a city bus route, the new library will offer 90 parking spaces, with some spaces designated for fuel-efficient vehicles. Bike racks also will earn “green points.” Special water retention tanks under the parking area will help mitigate run-off downstream from the library. In the building’s interior, carpet squares have a high recycled content. And, in another touch earning LEED points, water conservation measures will be incorporated in the restrooms.

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© 2008, Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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