Downtown Kalkaska is at a tipping point, with multiple economic growth endeavors underway. The location of the new library places it in a position to complement those efforts and even jumpstart them. Multiple nationwide studies show that for every dollar invested in a public library, there is a $4 – $5 economic return on investment.
Our new library is designed to belong downtown. It reflects the historic character of the west side of Cedar Street. The architecture features steel masonry and brick as well as a façade designed in keeping with the heart of our village. The interior will be warm, welcoming, spacious, and full of natural light.
21st Century Asset
Libraries have always been about connecting citizens to knowledge, which until quite recently was in the form of a book or newspaper. That core mission has not changed in the 21st-century. We’re still helping our patrons find books, but we also spend a lot of time teaching how to access databases, how to effectively and safely search for information and services online, and much more. And for some, the library simply provides computers and internet access so that our patrons can explore and learn independently.
One of our most important guiding principles is that libraries are free and open to all — that principle is an American invention that we’re very proud of. Libraries are places of community, variety, and diversity, with a supportive staff dedicated to helping our patrons reach their potentials. Libraries create the space where citizens from all different walks of life regularly interact in meaningful ways. Our new library creates a welcoming variety of seatings and spaces — large and small, communal or private — where those human connections can be fostered.
Like all the services the library provides, our technology services are driven by what our patrons need and what they expect. One of the most exciting attributes of our new library building will be having the space and digital infrastructure to allow our patrons to effectively use technology in the settings and the ways that they desire. Small and large meeting areas with adequate outlets and smart boards, and a wired community/makerspace area designed and equipped to adapt to any number of purposes — from business presentations to movie viewings to 3D-printing classes — will transform how our community creates and connects.