APL Adults

Building Process Update

Monday, August 25, the Appleton Public Library Board of Trustees were presented with the Library Needs Assessment, Site Evaluation and Prefunding Schematic Design Final Report. Below you will find the entire report for your viewing.  

Are you wondering where you can learn more about the building process? A great way is to check out our building process website at www.apl150.org.

We will also be available at the Downtown Appleton Farm Markets August 30, September 6 and September 13. We will have a station set up in Houdini Plaza where you are invited to look at the concepts for the new Appleton Public Library and ask us any questions you may have. In addition, we will be stationed at the front entrance of the library every day from August 26 to September 16 to answer your questions. A schedule of times we are stationed at the entrance is listed below.  

August 26 - 11:00 am to 1:00 pm

August 27 – 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

August 28 - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

August 29 – 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

September 2 – 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

September 3 – 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

September 4 – 3:00 to 5:00 pm

September 5 – 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

September 7 – 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

September 8 - 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

September 9 - 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

September 10 - 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

September 11 - 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

September 12 - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

September 14 – 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

September 15 – 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

September 16 – 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

We are available for questions any time in-person at any of our service desks, via email at info@apl.org or by phone at (920) 832-6170.

Did You Know? Not Forgotten International

September 22  | 6:30-7:30 pm
APL Meeting Room C

Janet Lenz, Executive Director of Not Forgotten International will present an informational program about the Not Forgotten Organization. Not Forgotten International is a humanitarian aid organization that exists to serve refugees and other oppressed or suffering people around the world. While there are many organizations that have similar missions, Not Forgotten International is unique in the sense that central to its purpose is the development of strong and ongoing relationships with the people groups it serves.

In the Sahara Desert of western Algeria, where temperatures can reach 130 degrees, water is scarce and little can grow there survives a people, refugees since 1975. Against all odds, they have survived on sorely–deficient humanitarian aid rations. But thanks to one Western Sahara man’s dream, the Desert is beginning to bloom with fruits and vegetables, necessities for health for the nearly 200,000 children and families living in the refugee camps. This man had the opportunity to study agriculture and brought his talents back to the camps. With the right materials, he soon found he could grow a great variety of fruits and vegetables year round. The refugees now have the possibility of planting small family gardens using small green houses, a simple drip irrigation system and protective netting that offer hope for families to be able to provide important nutrients for themselves both now and in their future.

Website:  www.notforgotteninternational.org

Fine Print Sneak Peek: Community and Economic Development of a New Library

There are as many different definitions and meanings of community and economic development as there are people who practice these professions.

The Economic Development Handbook definition states, "From a public perspective, local economic development involves the allocation of limited resources-land, labor, capitol and entrepreneurship in a way that has a positive effect on the level of business activity, employment, income distribution patterns and fiscal solvency.

There is a difference between community development and economic development.

The United Nations defines community development broadly as "A process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems." Community well-being (economic, social, environmental and cultural) often evolves from this type of collective action being taken at a grassroots level, and it is the process for making a community a better place to live and work.

The Appleton Public Library building project is many things, including an economic and community development project. APL’s building project is an essential strategy to improve the vitality of our city from the standpoint of financial growth as well as quality of life.

One of the most important tasks to the success of this project is a critical approach to the site selection process. Usage of library services is but one measurement to success and like other economic development projects, success will also be determined by where the facility is located.

Downtown Appleton is a fascinating place to look at from a development and construction standpoint. Historically a large ravine stretched through much of downtown. Today much of that area has been filled and developed, but you can still see evidence in Arbutus Park and Jones Park. The ravine presents challenges to construction throughout much of downtown, especially in the area between those parks, but those challenges are not insurmountable. 

Appleton has a successful and thriving downtown, defined by College Avenue, resulting in a narrow, linear focal point with areas on the periphery not as prominently highlighted. The proposed location of a new Appleton Public Library between Lawrence, Oneida and Morrison does something no other location can do. Building the library on this site will expand downtown beyond the narrow strip while increasing connectivity and raising awareness of surrounding businesses and community amenities. This infusion of vibrancy, vitality and activity will be noticeable from College Avenue.

The visibility of this location from our renovated Houdini and City Center Plazas encourages multi-modal transportation between multiple community destinations. No other site will add this visible depth simply because of the existing structures. An inspiring and prominent civic structure such as the public library, filling the skyline in that location, would be an inviting and welcoming gateway feature.

The bluff that the proposed location sits on top of serves as the foundation of innovation and industry of Appleton's early years. While an elevation differential such as this can present development challenges, it also creates a lot of opportunities. By building the library here we can bridge the 46 foot elevation differential and finally connect the riverfront to downtown. Providing connectivity to these areas is a priority for the City of Appleton and Appleton Downtown Inc. The library project will give the City of Appleton the ability to work in earnest to pursue linkages between downtown and the riverfront. If we design a connection from downtown to the flats and Jones Park, we will achieve connectivity to both ends of the central business district and provide opportunities to put a lasting imprint on how we would like our downtown to be positioned for the future in terms of walkability, connectivity and urbanism. All of these are vital elements in attracting economic development and achieving community development.

The proposed site also has valuable synergies with neighboring institutions such as the YMCA, Lawrence University, Fox Valley Family Medicine Residency Program and other businesses. The library's presence in this area will provide a willing collaborative partner and a destination anchor in a manner that strengthens visitor traffic without serving as a competitor to the businesses and services in the area. It will also allow long-standing parking needs for this area to be addressed in partnership, as well as provide solutions for improved access along Lawrence Street, resulting in safer passage for pedestrians and vehicular traffic.

Of the 17 locations evaluated for the potential future site for the library, this particular site is the only one that provides the vibrancy, effectiveness and efficiency to answer all these issues. The length of this article precludes me from sharing each criteria evaluated while assessing the proposed site, but I encourage you to review the criteria matrix (located at www.apl150.org) created to evaluate all the potential sites.

The library’s thorough participatory engagement process provides us with context to come to a solution for the library’s needs that also works to strengthen downtown, connect to the riverfront and work in partnership to solve other community problems, while providing us with a library that addresses current and future needs.

Karen Harkness, City of Appleton Director of Community and Economic Development

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