- In 2005, the Library’s Board of Trustees purchased 50 acres of land on Route 237 in Hebron to replace the Lents Branch. They realized that the current location could not accommodate the growth of the community. The plan at the time was to build the Main Library in Burlington, wait to see how the Route 237 construction project impacted the Library’s property, and then build the replacement branch in Hebron.
- When the Main Library opened in 2008, the economic down turn had hit Boone County. Tax revenue to the Library had fallen as businesses closed, residents lost jobs, and houses were foreclosed. The Library Board looked at the situation facing our residents and lowered the tax rate. BCPL could not operate a larger facility in Hebron on the reduced income.
- In 2011, believing the time was right to move forward on this project, a civil engineering company was hired to conduct a land use study for the property, which included two public workshops and meetings with the Library Board and local public officials. At that time five ideas were developed for the property. You can view the land use plan here: www.bcpl.org/docs/library/bcpl-hebron-branch-property-land-use-study.pdf. The Library planned to take the Hebron Land Use Study into account as the facility was planned.
- Before we could move beyond the study, lawsuits were filed against Boone, Campbell and Kenton County Public Libraries. The basis for the lawsuits against the libraries stemmed from the fact that there appeared to be conflicting statutes about how libraries set taxes. Given the uncertainty of this situation the Library Board of Trustees decided that the time was not right to build the new facility in Hebron.
- In 2015, The Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled in favor of libraries in the lawsuit. Given this decision, the improving economic outlook in Boone County and the need for a larger facility, we chose to move forward with the Lents relocation project. On September 1, 2015, the Lents Branch closed its doors and all staff moved to comparable positions within Boone County Public Library. Most of the collection, equipment, and furniture were distributed to the other five BCPL locations and our outreach services department. The current plan is to sell the Lents Branch in early 2016 and use the money from the sale to help build the new facility.
- To help meet the needs of customers who used the Lents Branch, the Library has worked with local schools to provide after school programs such as coding clubs and book discussion groups. Recurring adult programs, like Thrillers & Chillers Book Discussion Group and Piecemakers Quilting Group, were moved to other library locations. More children’s and teens’ programs were added to the other branches. In addition, in November we will begin offering community stops in Hebron: the first Wednesday of each month from 5-7 p.m. in the Remke’s parking lot and the third Thursday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon in Lakeside Christian Church’s parking lot. We will bring a selection of fiction and nonfiction materials for adults and children to check out as well as the books you have reserved for pick up in Hebron. To reserve books for pick up at one of these community stops, choose “Hebron Delivery” in our catalog.
- In October 2015 a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for architectural and engineering firms was released. We are looking for an innovative architectural and engineering team to design a 21st century library facility that reflects the current and future needs of the community. Boone County Public Library is constantly evolving to adapt to the needs and desires of our users. The New Hebron Branch will help us to meet those needs now and be flexible to adapt to future demands. The new location will serve as a center of discovery and communication—a place where people can gather and where information will come alive through teaching and personal interaction. We plan to choose the architect by February 2016. You can see the RFQ at http://www.bcpl.org/docs/boone-county-public-library-rfq-architect-hebron.pdf
The Library has created an FAQ about the Relocation Project. I consider the FAQ a “living document.” This means that as more information is available, for example the name of the architectural firm, the FAQ will grow. You can read the FAQ at http://www.bcpl.org/docs/lents-branch-relocation-project-faq.pdf
I am always open to suggestions, questions and conversation about this relocation project. This is an exciting time for the Library and for Boone County.
Carrie Herrmann has 26 years of experience in libraries, most of those in Northern Kentucky. A Graduate of University of Kentucky, Carrie is the Library Director for Boone County Public Library.