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Growing population of North Bingham County causes need for bigger library

The populations of Shelley and Firth are growing, and North Bingham Library workers say the library can’t keep up with demand. The city wants to move into a new facility, but need the public’s help.

“Space is just an issue here,” said Heidi Riddoch, the Library Director of the North Bingham County District Library.

Just walk down any aisle in the library and you’ll say the exact same thing. Books are scattered on carts, tables and even in kits.

“It has discouraged people from coming,” said Riddoch.

Only eight computers can fit in the computer lab, and three for the child learning center are crammed in a corner of the library.

Riddoch has worked for the library for over 22 years. She loves throwing events such as the quilt show and family-themed reading nights.

The North Bingham County Library’s multi-purpose room can fit about 50-75 people comfortably, but the library holds events where over hundreds of people want to attend.

“We’ve had family reading night parties that have had huge amounts come that we couldn’t even get into the building and we had lines out the door in the middle of November to the end of the parking lot,” said Riddoch.

And that’s why the library is hoping to move into the old BMC West building on North State Street.

With a larger parking lot, and more square footage to build a bigger computer and multi-purpose rooms, the library can become the “spacey, comfortable” home to all who use the library.

“Places where after-school programs can exist, a place where somebody can bring up a student to tutor them. which we just don’t have in our current facility. We’d like to create that possibility,” said David Meacham, the Library Board chairman.

The old BMC building will need a remodel, and city leaders will need a $2.5 million bond to do it.

Meacham says it expects taxes to go up about $13 a year for a $100,000home.

“This is the best opportunity to improve library in our communities for the next 10 years. We don’t anticipate seeing another opportunity like this ever again,” said Meacham.

The bond will be on November’s ballot. It needs a two-thirds majority to pass.

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