Saugatuck-Douglas District Library

Loading palette preview Loading

Saugatuck-Douglas District Library Strategic Plan, 2018-2023

After reviewing community feedback and analyzing building options and potential costs, the Board of Trustees of the Saugatuck-Douglas District Library has decided to proceed with plans for a new library building on the vacant lot on the north side of Center Street. Voter approval will be sought in August 2018. A new building is critical to achieving the goals and objectives set out in this Strategic Plan.

Goal 1: Build a new, barrier-free facility that meets the needs of all our patrons.

  • Work with trustees, consultants and community members to determine the desired features of a new facility, including accessible entrances and restrooms, designated quiet zones, staff work spaces and a multipurpose space for meetings and programs.
  • Form a building campaign committee to engage the community and build support for the new building.

Goal 2: Create a collection of resources that meets the needs of our community.

  • Determine the appropriate collection size and make-up based on current usage, changing technology and comparison to peer institutions. 
  • Increase responsiveness to patron requests by purchasing requested titles and formats and publicize our willingness to do so.

Goal 3: Maximize communication to all members of the community. 

  • Increase annually the number of individuals subscribed to our email messaging service. 
  • Use direct mail to distribute a brief annual report on Library programs and services.
  • Submit bimonthly press releases to local newspapers, highlighting programs, services, and news items.

Goal 4: Introduce new technology to enhance public service and staff efficiency.

  • Explore cost, feasibility and interest in new technological services including mobile printing and circulating WiFi hotspots.
  • Offer and promote biannual group classes on the use of electronic media services, including Overdrive, Hoopla, RBdigital and Freegal.
  • Pursue RFID self-check functionality for more efficient circulation and patron confidentiality. Once we convert to an RFID system, the framework would be in place to install security gates to protect our collection in a new building.

Goal 5: Offer programs that engage all community members.

  • Pursue new partnerships with business and community organizations to offer free or low cost educational programs.
  • In a new facility, create a multi-purpose room for programs and community meetings.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Proposed New Library

Why is the Library board proposing a new library?

  • Following the August 2014 proposal to build a new library that failed to win voter approval, the Library mailed a survey to every resident of the district. We received 332 responses and over 63% said they were in favor of a building a new library. A survey conducted in the summer of 2017, along with a series of focus groups confirmed that the majority of respondents felt the current library facility required improvements. 
  • Community input focused on the following priorities, both of which necessitate a new, or drastically improved facility.
    • Barrier free access to the facility, including more restrooms.
    • More space to accommodate a larger collection, programming needs and quiet reading areas.

How is this proposal different than the last?

  • Although the numbers have not been finalized, this proposal will be significantly smaller in both size and price. Survey results and focus group conversations show that the previous proposal was too big and too expensive for a town our size. We are working with an architect and a construction management team to make sure the new design has everything we need at a price we can afford.

When is the election?

  • August 7, 2018

How will the millage proposal be worded?

  • The ballot language is not finalized at this time. Final costs will be what determine the millage rate and this will be publicized in the spring.

When does the millage go into effect?

  • If the proposal is approved by voters in August, the millage will go into effect as part of the winter property tax bill, which will be sent in December 2018 and is due in February 2019.

How will the new millage affect my taxes?

  • The final numbers are not yet available. It will be a significantly smaller increase than the 2014 proposal. We expect to know the final millage rate in March.

What are the primary disadvantages of the current building?

  • Too many stairs and general lack of accessibility.
  • Not enough space for books and DVDs.
  • No designed space for programs or staff work areas, resulting in a lack of quiet areas and disruptions to regular library functions and services. 
  • Only one bathroom.
  • Inadequate infrastructure to meet demands of current technology.

What will the new library offer that the old one can't?

  • A new building will correct ALL the primary disadvantages of the current building by providing a multifunctional program space, more room for the collection, updated wiring and adequate plumbing. It will also be a single story and ADA compliant.

Why is a new library being proposed instead of remodeling/expanding the existing building?

  • A majority of survey respondents indicated this was a preference.
  • Cost comparisons show that remodeling/expanding the current building would cost more money to achieve the same amount of usable space.
  • A new single story building provides long-term cost savings in the areas of staffing, maintenance and utilities. 

Will the hours of operation change?

  • It is the goal of the Library board to increase hours in a new building.

When will the library be built?

  • If the millage passes, construction of the new building would begin in the spring of 2019.
Back to FAQs