The Arapahoe Public Library along with the City of Arapahoe was awarded a matching grant from the Civic and Community Center Financing Fund in April of this year. The (CCCFF) grants are awarded to municipalities and administered by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) to encourage and foster quality of life in our communities. CCCFF grants are awarded on a competitive basis. The Arapahoe Public Library Board sought this grant opportunity and thus far a feasibility study, which included a user survey of the Arapahoe Public Library, has been completed. This summer representatives from Olsson Associates and Wilkins Architecture, Design and Planning have met with the Board, the Arapahoe Public Library Foundation and members from the Friends Group to discuss the current space and the potential for a remodel.
One of library’s main goals is to focus on programming for youth that follows the practices of Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering and Math or STREAM. We’re accomplishing this goal by offering a variety of programs such as Mad Science Mondays, Reading with Rembrandt, Lego Club, and a variety of other programs like Grandparent’s Day, Native American appreciation, and donuts with a police officer day to name a few. Our local math teacher offered a robotics program this summer. And of course we offer a very active summer reading program and a teen advisory group. The school children in grades Kindergarten through 8th grade visit the library once a month during the school year.
However, when a children’s program is held, this space must be shared between the adults and the children of our community. Herein lies part of our current building’s problem. While an addition was made to the building in 1985 after it was converted to the library from the Peace Lutheran Church, after 33 years of growth, it’s too small for any programs, meetings, or gatherings.
The noise level and congestion often turn away our adult patrons when children are present. Additionally, some parents decline our programs knowing that their children may be in the presence of other adults that are not familiar to them. An Open House on how the library would like to address these issues will be held on October 9th from 4-6 PM. Refreshments will be served.