Gering Public Library Foundation Board President Charles Lieske says the organization remains committed to plans for a library upgrade for the community, even as COVID-19 has impacted the organization’s fundraising efforts.
In his report to the Gering City Council Monday night, Lieske said some Foundation members understand the financial constraints for the city and support renovation of the existing building, so the organization continues to explore that option.
However, Lieske also noted the current location has a number of limitations, and the council may find it’s in the best interests of residents and the community to find room in the budget for a new structure in the future. Noting that the council did have a fiduciary responsibility when it comes to taxpayer dollars, Lieske said “There are times where additional spending that meets the needs of the taxpayers is responsible leadership, and, Gering really needs more than a building that serves as a book repository. We need an accessible community center.”
He noted the Foundation’s progression has been hindered a bit over the past year with charitable giving naturally shifting to pandemic-related needs in the community.
Lieske says the Foundation will be considering new elements to the library that could expand its usage to fill in gaps in a variety of areas, such as tourism, and open additional grant opportunities.