Group forms to back new Shorewood-Troy Library building
By Brian Stanley Bstanley@stmedianetwork.com September 23, 2012 9:18PM
A view of the Shorewood-Troy Public Library Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, at 650 Deerwood Drive in Shorewood. A committee is being formed for a referendum to raise money to build a new library. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 25, 2012 6:06AM
SHOREWOOD — A citizens group started off their campaign to build a new library doing things by the book.
On Tuesday, 18 people formed a steering committee to raise support for a building referendum that will appear on the ballot in April.
The Shorewood-Troy Library trustees have the funds available to purchase a five-acre site and are looking at building plans. But while state law allows board members to inform residents about a referendum, they cannot solicit votes to have the measure approved.
“So we now officially have the Citizens Committee For A New Shorewood-Troy Library,” Committee President Nancy Bartlett explained, adding the committee is prohibited from meeting at the library.
Bartlett is a retiree who has used the library extensively since moving to Shorewood from New Jersey five years ago.
After occupying a storefront in the Shorewood Plaza, the current library opened in 1985 when Shorewood’s population was 4,500. While it now serves about 19,000 residents, Bartlett said a hired consultant told trustees the building’s foundations prohibit any expansion.
“And there’s only so many places they can store things and they’re all full. Any time they get a new book, space constraints require taking an old one off the shelf,” Bartlett said.
Bartlett wasn’t aware of any organization against a new facility, but realizes seeking funds will be difficult in the current economy. The referendum amount will not be known until construction costs are determined.
“I hope (taxpayers) look to see how low the costs acutally are. I pay $56 a year toward the district, which wouldn’t cover the cost of two hardcover books if I had to buy them,” Bartlett said.
The library board will hold a public hearing on the land acquisition at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The citizens committee will begin actively campaigning to support the referendum proposal in January.