by Mayor Simison

An important partner in our community is the Meridian Library. You may or may not be aware that the libraries in our community are operated by the Meridian Library District which is a separate taxing entity with its own elected officials that oversee the services provided to the community. As an entity, they are an award-winning, innovative organization that has a mission to enrich lives, ignite curiosity and cultivate connections.

More than books and movies, the Meridian Library is opening novel doors with services like unBound.  Located in downtown Meridian, unBound continues to adapt to our community’s needs and is positioned to provide the training, technology, and spaces our workforce needs to thrive. Remodel efforts on unBound’s new space began last summer and renovations are set to complete in April. The two-story layout of the building unifies the historical concept of libraries’ accessibility of collections and materials and the modernized, innovative needs of today’s citizens. This project was funded through the Library District’s 2019 Plant Facility Levy Measure, which gave the library $14 million to renovate and expand.

unBound will open to the public Monday, April 19. I was able to tour the facility this last week and saw a lot of resources and opportunities for the community that are worth mentioning. This technology and business branch will provide free access to classes, emerging technology, multi-faceted meeting space, and personalized technology. unBound hosts a collection of hardware and software, ready to connect entrepreneurs and small business owners to advanced technology and expertise. Some of the unique attributes include large capacity printers for business plans and branding materials, 3D printing for prototypes, and podcast and video editing software for local entrepreneurs. They also feature multi-work and group meeting space to connect employees and collaborate together. As new small businesses open in the valley, unBound will be a tool that is highly recommended.  

The next chapter for the Meridian Library includes a new North Meridian branch, which will be part of the Orchard Park development at Chinden Boulevard and Linder Road. Accessibility is central to the design of this location and it will include features for individuals with special abilities. This project is also funded through the District’s 2019 Plant Facility Levy and is expected to open in early 2022.  They also continue to look at a future branch in South Meridian and have plans for renovations of the main branch on Cherry Lane. As part of that renovation they will be partnering with the Meridian Historical Society to help preserve the rich history of our community.

Meridian Library has a multitude of facilities available, ready for book-browsers and literature-lovers alike. There is something for everyone, with three branches providing resources across Meridian along with innovative ways to connect with library services. Their home delivery service is free for Meridian residents and an easy way to stock up on reading material when visiting in person is not possible. In addition to hosting virtual programs for all ages, the library will begin to offer outdoor story times beginning in April. Also, their bookmobile continues to provide contactless services, reaching Meridian’s most underserved patrons. 

I encourage you to check out the Meridian Library District Website and their Social Media for upcoming events and resources or hop on over to one of their locations and see all the opportunities for yourself. In addition, in May there will be an election for new leadership at the Meridian Library District. I encourage you to get to know the candidates and what they stand for, and show up to vote for the library you want to see in the future!

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