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Lubbock City Council Chooses Not to Form Second Library Committee

Cole Shooter, KFYO.com

At their meeting Thursday evening, the Lubbock City Council decided not to create another committee to study library needs in the City of Lubbock.

The resolution to create a new citizen advisory committee was put on the agenda by Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson. The City currently has a Libraries Board to advise the City Council on the wants and needs of the library system.

Robertson stated that he wanted a board to study possibilities for a new Godeke Library, which is currently located in a shopping center at 6707 Slide Road. The lease for the space is $25,000 per month, and is up for renewal in September.

The proposed committee would have also been charged to study the benefits and drawbacks of continuing the City’s current branch library system, or having one large central library.

“I’ve been frustrated that we’re not making any progress with our situation with the Godeke Library,” said Robertson. “I value their [libraries board] input. My concern though, is I’m only hearing one answer, and that is to build an approximately 20 to 22,000 square foot library in southwest Lubbock, which my estimates will be a five to seven million dollar facility.”

Robertson continued, saying that a 22,000 square foot facility might wind up being our main branch, and “that’s not the area where we have the greatest need for our finest library.”

District 2 Councilman Floyd Price weighed in, noting that the descriptions for the Libraries Board and the new committee were essentially the same.

“I think we’ve already got those experts in there. We just need to give them the charge to go forward,” said Price. “I think this Council just should utilize the Library Board they have, and charge them to go ahead and make studies on this concern that we have.”

District Five Councilwoman Karen Gibson came to the defense of the Libraries Board, saying that “We talked about it, but this Council did not give the Libraries Board any kind of a charge, so either we can appoint this committee and give them a charge, or give we can give the Libraries Board a charge, but one way or the other, we need to get on with it.”

Robertson discussed the issue further, saying “We have dropped the ball as a Council. I do not believe the Libraries Board has dropped the ball and I do not believe the Friends of the Library have dropped it. It’s us as a Council.”

The group chose to postpone the resolution to create a second libraries committee indefinitely.

The Council will likely consider a resolution to give direction to the Libraries Board at a later meeting.

The North and East Lubbock Community Development Corporation also received approval for funds from the City. The Council approved the $251,000 to the NELCDC 6-1, District Three Councilman Todd Klein dissenting. The sales tax revenue estimation was increased in order to provide the funds.

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