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Steele Creek Library Association Endorses Land Bond

(October 4, 2007) On November 6, Mecklenburg County voters will have an opportunity to pass an important bond referendum for land purchases.

The total $35.6 million bond includes $1.65 million to purchase land for a new regional library in the Berewick area of Steele Creek. A regional library would be about twice the size of the current Steele Creek District Library.

Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County staff are looking at several properties around the planned Berewick Town Center, but selection of a site is all very preliminary. The availability of the parcels, the asking price, and the suitability are all up in the air at this point, but if the land bond passes, they hope to purchase property as soon as possible.

There is no timeline for funding actual construction of a new library, but library staff likely would request funding in Fiscal Year 2009.

The Steele Creek Library Association has endorsed the land bonds and encourages all Steele Creek residents to vote "Yes" for the Land Bonds.

Area residents formed the Steele Creek Library Association in 1992 to encourage county officials to locate a new library in the Steele Creek community. The new Steele Creek Library opened in 1994 in temporary space in the Steele Creek Commons Shopping Center.

The current 15,000 square foot library opened August 4, 2004. In just three years it has become one of the busiest libraries in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg system. (See Library Facts.)

Steele Creek continues to attract new residents, and the Steele Creek Library will soon become inadequate to meet the needs of the community. An additional facility in the area will be needed in a few years. Construction will be financed by a future bond, but no library can be built without the land. Passage of this Land Bond will ensure that land will be available once the time is right for a new facility.

Doug Youngblood, co-founder of the Library Association said, "As hard as we had to fight to get a library to begin with, you will not get another or an expansion without supporting bonds. All construction or capital funds for Mecklenburg County, whether it is for the library, schools, or parks, come from bond funds of some type. Without supporting these bonds, there will not be another source of funding, and the land for the library will not be purchased. This is the only way to make a regional library happen in Steele Creek." 

Please go to the polls on November 6 and vote "Yes" for the land bonds. You may also vote early at the Steele Creek Library and other sites across the county. (See Early Voting Begins October 22.)

Steele Creek Library Facts:

The Steele Creek Library is #6 in circulation among 23 libraries, not including the Main Library. Circulation from July 2005 to June 2006 was 295,043 and from July 2006 to June 2007 it was 321,252--an increase of 26,203 in one year.

The library was #4 in computer usage for the entire system from July 2006 to June 2007 with 100,365 people using the computers. Usage for the previous year was 86,337.

During the last reporting year:

Steele Creek library staff answered 140,530 reference questions.

The library had 100 training and adult programs with 1,323 people attending.

An estimated 310,109 people came through the doors.

The number of children's programs was 723 with 22,747 children and caregivers attending.

The teen librarian presented 52 programs with 612 teens attending.

The library's turnover rate (number of times items are checked out) is 5.63 which is above the system average.

See also Land Bonds to Help Lake Wylie Water Quality.