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Tongue-tied dragon

Drea Lusion from Variety Circus performs with a dragon puppet at the St. Helena Public Library.

As officials look toward a major overhaul of the city’s public buildings, the St. Helena Public Library’s Board of Trustees is thinking about the library’s own future.

At the board’s July 11 meeting, trustees reviewed current library trends and conceptual models for successful 21st-century libraries. Library Director Chris Kreiden presented ideas such as small reading and study rooms, play rooms where families can interact, and movable stacks that can be reconfigured on the fly.

At their next meeting, trustees said they’d like to talk to children’s librarian Leslie Stanton about the future of the children’s room. A possible expansion of that area was floated a few years ago, and trustees questioned whether it’s time to revive that idea.

In June, members of the City Council said they envision a new multi-use building to replace the current, dilapidated City Hall and police station. The new building would be oriented toward Lyman Park, possibly with city offices on the second floor and more community-oriented uses on the ground floor.

A new library is one potential option for the ground floor. The council asked the library board to start considering the institution’s long-term needs, eventually with the help of a library consultant that will collect input from staff, trustees and the community.

Based on those needs, the library board and the council will decide whether to renovate the current library building or move it into the new building at the City Hall site.

Trustees were pleased that the discussion has shifted toward how the library can reach its fullest potential over the coming decades.

“We need to keep an open mind,” said Board Chair Skip Lane.

The board’s next meeting will be at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, at the library.

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