(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) St. Joseph Public Library is slated to receive its downtown branch building once the school district moves out.
“We are just excited to be able to spread out,” Library director Mary Beth Revels said. “This is the home of the St. Joseph Public Library Downtown branch. We want to be downtown. This building is made to house a library.”
The St. Joseph School Board voted to gift the building to the library during its meeting on Aug. 23. The school district offices are in the process of moving out of the building to the former Noyes Elementary School. The district superintendent, Doug Van Zyl, said he feels like this is a win for all parties.
“It just seems like a pretty good situation for us and for them that benefits the community as well,” Van Zyl said. “We already have a great partnership and they are already here in this facility and we’ve talked about space before. They feel like they could utilize this space to be able to benefit the community.”
Revels said there are still more details to work out before everything is official but she knows they could use the space for storage.
“We’ve got four branches and one of the things that we lack in many of them is storage space for records, for books, for the book sale, things like that,” Revels said.
Revels explained that she cannot just house books and records in any old space because of the weight of books or the climate.
“There are some considerations of building a library that is already taken care of in this building,” she said.
She said once the district moves out, the library won’t be able to fill up the entire space. Revels said she’s excited to start making a long-range plan for ways they could fill the space and services library-goers want to see.
“We’ll be reaching out to community members to help us in the process of a long-range plan and of course, again, how can we better serve St. Joseph in the Downtown Library in this building,” she said.