The Library serves more than 165,000 people in the Salem area annually and maintains a collection of 337,000 items. Statistics show 1,600 people check out 3,700 books and library materials each day. The Library hosts more than 2,000 programs for children, teens, and adults each year, and makes five meeting rooms and Loucks Auditorium available for community members to host their events. This project includes the following improvements:
Making the Library structurally sound
The Library and adjacent parking structure were built before scientists discovered that a
Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake could impact the Salem region. In 2014, the City commissioned
an engineering study that found the Library and parking structure do not meet standards for life safety. Library users, staff, and volunteers would be at risk in a major earthquake. Seismically retrofitting the Salem Public Library and parking structure will improve patron and staff safety in the event of an earthquake.
Making the Library accessible
The current building opened in 1972 – before
ADA requirements. Improvements to the building require it be brought into
ADA compliance. These improvements will allow the library to provide improved services and accessibility for all of its patrons.
Replacing library shelves designed in the 1950s. These will not withstand the effect of a major earthquake and cannot be repaired or retrofitted.
Security cameras are at the end of their useful life and must be replaced.
The current audio system is at the end of its useful life and must be replaced. It requires frequent and expensive maintenance, and does not cover all areas of the building.
The project will also replace or repair multiple building systems. Electrical wiring, plumbing, and ducting systems are old and will be displayed by the installation of the seismic strengthening elements. Replacing these systems will extend the Library building’s useful life and reduce annual maintenance costs.