TACOMA – The Pierce County Library System wants to learn the public’s interest in new libraries in new locations in Sumner and Lakewood, which would replace the current libraries.
“The current libraries are well loved and well used and have served the communities well,” said Pierce County Library Executive Director Georgia Lomax. “Unfortunately, the aging buildings are underserving the communities, as more people and more services compete for limited space. The libraries were built with the purpose of housing books?today libraries serve many more competing individual and community needs.”
Lomax explained new libraries would be designed around how people want to use the library today, as well as for offering a vibrant selection of books, movies and other resources. Buildings now must meet the needs of people who also expect to find movies, music, computer and related technologies, community meeting spaces, quiet work and study areas, and many other services.
The Sumner Pierce County Library is on land owned by the City of Sumner in a building co-owned by the city and the Library System. The building is aging and will close because it is in need of costly repairs. The community has an opportunity to build a new library on land the city has purchased on East Main, with services and design reflective of community desires.
The Lakewood Pierce County Library was built 56 years ago, more than 30 years before the city of Lakewood was incorporated. Today the library serves nearly 60,000 people with services and resources for learning, enjoyment and strengthening community connections. The existing building doesn’t support how people use the library today or tomorrow – the building is dated, hard to maintain, and would require millions of dollars in upgrades.
The City of Lakewood’s recently adopted Downtown Plan named library services as a priority for the community. The city would like to see a new Lakewood library in the downtown core.
The Tillicum Pierce County Library serves a neighborhood in Lakewood in a small, aging shared facility in poor physical condition. The current layout also does not support how people use the library today or tomorrow.
This summer the Library System is talking with residents in libraries, at community events and online, to learn what they would imagine in new libraries, from qualities such as welcoming, modern, community-focused and comfortable to features such as quiet spaces, spaces for activities and group study, technology?computers, printers and Wi-Fi, as well as meeting rooms for public groups.
The Library System would like to know the public’s thoughts about new libraries during week-long open houses:
- Sumner Library, 1116 Fryar Avenue, Sunday, July 28- Saturday, Aug. 3
- Lakewood Library, 6300 Wildaire Road S.W., and Tillicum Library, 14916 Washington Ave. S.W., Monday, Aug. 12-Saturday, Aug. 17