Duluth City Council discuss future plans for the Public Library
Mayor Roger Reinert and the Duluth City Council heard perspectives from residents regarding future plans involving the Duluth public library. Many residents spoke at the meeting voicing their concerns about whether the building would be destroyed and rebuilt.
Mayor Reinert reassured residents that none of the future plans would involve demolishing the library.
“In no way, do I have any intent, or did I ever suggest that we will eliminate the downtown library presence,” Mayor Reinert said. “I think having a downtown library presence is critical not only for folks that are downtown now who have mobility challenges, but also for the folks that we want living downtown.”
Duluth City Councilor Azrin Awal showed support to making the Duluth Public Library more mixed with Mayor Reinert’s ideas.
“I am not opposed to the new administration’s plan to incorporate private and commercial real estate and housing on publicly owned block where the library is currently located. Incorporating business and housing will be a great asset to the project,” Awal said. “Especially if we take a commercial community ownership model.”
The Duluth City Council unanimously passed the Duluth Public Library’s resolutions. They also showed an open-minded approach to Mayor Reinert’s ideas on reutilizing space within the public library.
Erin Kreger, the executive director of the Duluth Library Foundation, said time is running out to fix issues within the building.
“We do want to stress the importance of taking action on this important core city service. Years of study and kicking the library can down the road has proven very costly for the city. Soon Band-Aid fixes on the building could lead to costly and detrimental losses to the library.” Kreger said. “I hope that the city will use the community engagement and studies from the last year to inform this new reconceptualization. By creating a public space that supports both library staff and community needs in a robust way.”