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Library spot tops concerns in user survey

Posted: September 10, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: September 10, 2011 1:30 a.m.
 

The location of the library planned for Stevenson Ranch continues to top the list of concerns voiced by local residents, a county spokeswoman says.

The overwhelming topic of discussion at the last couple of public meetings called to garner community input has been talk of where the library should be built, said Rosalind Wayman, Santa Clarita Valley field deputy for Los Angeles County Mayor Michael D. Antonovich.

“People have asked and continue to ask, ‘Where will it be built?’’ and the response is, ‘We are doing our due diligence trying to find a location,’” she said Friday.

The latest fact-finding meeting was held at Stevenson Ranch Elementary School Wednesday.

The next one is scheduled for Oct. 5 at Rancho Pico Junior High School.

“We are looking at vacant space on The Old Road, vacant land and basically asking ‘What is affordable, and can we do it?’” Wayman said. “We’re somewhat limited as to where we are going to put this.”

County officials expect to have a list of locations to present to the public soon.

“We’re not going to have a decision for a while,” she said, “We looked at all the parks. We’re looking at everything, and we’re not rushing into things.”

County officials have been hearing concerns from the community about locations since September, when Antonovich announced plans to build a library in Stevenson Ranch.

His announcement came shortly after the Santa Clarita City Council’s August vote to remove the three libraries within city limits — the Valencia, Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy and Newhall libraries — from the county system and to create a city library system.

With $13 million earmarked for library construction, county planners say they are determined to find a site that’s affordable and endorsed by the community.

Library consultant Linda Demmers did a statistical analysis of Stevenson Ranch library users and found the two largest groups of library patrons there were 30-something adults and children under the age of 9, with each group representing a quarter of library users.

The data, Demmers explained at the June public meeting, means at least half the library patrons in Stevenson Ranch are families.

The number of Stevenson Ranch residents — which she described as highly educated professionals — doubled from 9,919 in 2000 to 19,823 today.

Her complete report is available online at www.vision91381.org .

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