Library purchases adjoining property.
In an effort to enhance the long-term viability and potential growth of the Boyne District Library, its board of trustees recently purchased the property at 214 Ray Street, next to the Library and the city parking lot.
While there are no immediate plans for the property, the board wanted to create options for the future.
The library serves the people of Boyne City, Evangeline and Bay townships, and parts of Eveline and Wilson townships. The board is made up of representatives appointed by each unit of government.
The library was renovated and expanded in 2001 with a grant from the Mary K. Peabody Foundation. While it has served the community’s needs well in the past 10 years, the number of library users has increased by more than 80% (based on statistics from the library’s annual State Aid Report), the need for library resources is growing, and there are indications that future expansion may be needed.
“Some days in the summer we are so busy that it’s hard to find a place to sit,” said library director Cliff Carey. “Our meeting rooms are often booked with four different meetings in one day. The public computers are full, the children’s room is humming with activity and our resources are fully utilized.”
Previously, the library’s building and lot provided very limited options for expansion.
“It’s the library board’s responsibility to look to the future and make sure we are in a position to continue to meet the community’s needs,” said board president Jane MacKenzie. “This was a great opportunity to purchase additional property now, for the benefit of future generations of library users.”
The property has been available for several years and has been a topic of discussion at board meetings, but with a recent drop in the price, the board showed renewed interest. The $100,000 purchase price was within the library’s reach.
Possibilities for the property include refurbishing and using the existing building on the property, rebuilding on the site, or trading the property for a location closer to the library.
“This is an exciting purchase for the library and the community” said Boyne City Manager Michael Cain. “The library is a tremendous asset and partner in Boyne’s success and this acquisition opens up numerous options for the community and the library’s future growth. The City looks forward to working with the library as they consider their options.”
One of the goals discussed at meetings over the past few years has been providing a larger space for teens to learn, study and meet together. Another goal is to provide more space for meetings. These are some of the things that will be addressed as the board considers moving forward with plans for the building.
“We are looking forward to having discussions with the community about future needs and how the library can meet those needs,” MacKenzie said.
“Our goal is always providing better service to our community,” said Carey.