Results from Library Upgrade Design Open House

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Gehlar Reading Room at Salem Public Library

Gehlar Reading Room at Salem Public Library

The first community Open House on the Salem Public Library renovation project took place February 19,  6-8 pm.   Fifty attendees heard a presentation by Laura Klinger of Hacker Architects on options for improving or adding to the Library's spaces and features, and shared their views on Library improvements.

Participants were asked about what works well in today's Library, as well as their hopes for the library of the future.

Takeaways from this information gathering session included a diverse range of preferences and ideas:

  • Improved Library access (free parking; longer hours; additional branches)
  • Retaining the Library's art collection, including the etched glass panel
  • Additional space for the Library's collections (more books and music CDs; room to grow the genealogy and local history sections)
  • Space for new collections of toys, tools and objects such as cake pans and other utensils
  • Improved lighting, taking advantage of natural light
  • Comfortable, durable furniture
  • Additional meeting/gathering space
  • Private spaces for study and computer use
  • Computers placed throughout the Library, rather than in one room
  • Versatile shelves that are lower, improving visibility.

The Salem Public Library is here to serve the entire community of Salem, providing a connection to books, DVDs, music CDs, art, eBooks and other resources residents of all ages find most informative and entertaining.  It also offers a host of other valuable programs and services, from meeting and study space to computer access.

Any Salem resident who was not able to attend the February 19 event can participate in an online survey on Library improvements, or fill out a paper version of the survey at the Salem Public Library. (Survey closed as of 2/26/19.)

  • Take the Survey
  • Mande su encuesta hoy

All are invited to come to the next open house on library design options planned for late April.

The decision on Library design is scheduled to be announced in Fall 2019, with construction taking place from January 2020 to Summer 2021. Interim Library services will be provided during construction.

Contact us

Aaron KimseyProgram ManagerPublic Works Department
Mailing address:
555 Liberty Street SE RM 325
Salem OR 97301-3513
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