MRRL-Osage takes fresh look at new space

The Missouri River Regional Library Osage County branch is considering moving in a bid to gain more space for its programming needs.

Noelle Parker, Osage County branch manager, told board members the library would benefit from a larger space.

Some of the existing challenges the library faces, she said, include storage space, separation between the children's space and the computer lab, limited parking, the need for handicap accessible buttons, the need for a meeting area and overall visibility of its location.

Betty Hagenoff, assistant director of the MRRL, told the News Tribune the idea came about after the owners of Dollar General and Family Dollar stores in Linn approached the library board about potentially renting the space.

"Right now nothing is finalized, but we thought it would be a good idea to at least explore it," Hagenoff said.

During the board meeting, members discussed the possibility of moving to the space above the current library location, formerly the Dollar General. The space, owned by Donna Haslag and Chris Trousser, offers 4,600 square feet in potential added storage space.

Moving into the space would cost the library $2,300 plus additional costs for carpeting the floors and any other initial renovations. The board is waiting for information from Ameren on potential utility costs.

Norma Campbell, owner of the building previously known as Family Dollar, also presented an offer to Osage branch library.

In Campbell's proposal, the library would tentatively be responsible for $3,833 a month, not including utilities. The sites has 8,000 square feet of space and is located next to a grocery store. Campbell pointed out all of the walls have been painted and the owners will install carpet for free, as well as any other initial renovations needed.

"We know that you guys would be good renters," Campbell said.

Currently, the branch pays $1,800 per month. Typically, the library rent includes taxes and insurance so it pays a flat montly amount.

"We want our space to be more of a community hub," Parker said.

She said large groups are less likely to use their facility because of a lack of space and privacy.

Throughout the meeting, Hagenoff emphasized the board wants to be sure the 10 percent of the total revenue coming from the Osage branch goes back to it for projects like this. The total revenue for Osage branch would amount to roughly $300,000.

"We always want to make sure we are returning 10 percent of what we do back here," Hagenoff said. "We want to be good stewards to this branch as well as to the citizens in Jefferson City."

Library Director Claudia Schoonover said the meeting was just a discussion about a potential move in the future.

"Libraries across the nation have taken various buildings and turned them into great spaces," Schoonover said. "There are all kinds of examples for us to take a look at for the future."