Other factors prevent the Kanawha County Public Library from serving as the "community's living room," she said. For instance, there is no parking, the walls cannot be rearranged and, because of wiring issues, no more electrical outlets can be added.
However, building limitations aren't the only reason construction on the main library still hasn't begun more than 10 years after the 2002 announcement.
The library launched a campaign in 2006 to raise $37 million for a new main branch. It has raised more than $18.4 million since then, but most of the money has come from private donations.
C. David Warren, associate principal consultant for Provide Associates, said he is impressed with how much money has been raised through private funds.
But the community needs to "get over this hurdle."
"I commend you on raising $18 million ... but can this be built on just private monies?" Warren asked. "This community has to identify where that money is."
Providence Associates staff stressed the importance of raising public funds.
"I've heard there may be additional private dollars available, but only ... if public funds [become] available first," Isenstein said. "Where can you get those public dollars?"
For every $1 of public money invested in the Kanawha County Public Library, there is a $2.24 return on investment, Isenstein said. That return is a conservative estimate, she said, considering the city of Pittsburgh gets back $6 for every $1 spent. Public libraries in South Carolina get a $4 return on investment for every $1 of public money invested, she said.
Isenstein said the library consulting firm would come up with the top three projections to "make this project a reality."
The next step is hearing from the community.
To make the library a dynamic, interactive space that the community considers a destination place, officials have to know what the community wants in its library. Future informational meetings will be hosted, but Isenstein said she didn't have exact meeting dates yet.
For more information about the new main library or to donate, call Patty Tompkins at 304-343-4646, ext. 251 or email her at patty.tompk...@kanawhalibrary.org or visit http://kanawhalibrary.org/building/index.html
Reach Megan Workman at megan.work...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.