New Bern Area Residents Deserve a Modern Library That Meets Current and Future Needs

The New Bern-Craven County Public Library facility was last expanded in 1992 to 26,200 square feet. In 1990 the census population of the greater New Bern area (New Bern, Bridgeton, River Bend, Trent Woods, Township 2, Township 7 and Township 8) was 64,683.  In 2020 the population was 99,267, an increase of 53.4%.  According to standards just released by the State Library of North Carolina, minimally the library should have 64,524-sf (0.65 sf per capita served).   

Modern libraries, in addition to its collections, need space for large and small meetings, tutoring, makers’ space, STEAM programs, computer learning labs, digital media labs and other programmable flex space.  Innovative libraries are economic engines for their communities and provide a return on investment of $4.14 per every $1 invested.  

The new main library needs to:  1) meet minimum State Library standards per capita served; 2) be more geographically situated; 3) be easily accessible/visible; and 4) have adequate parking onsite. 


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