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Sumner, Lakewood libraries could be rebuilt as ‘spaces for people, not books’

Sumner sets sights on new library

Sumner City Council voted unanimously to purchase a parcel of land along Main St. in Sumner that will serve as the new location of a library.
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Sumner City Council voted unanimously to purchase a parcel of land along Main St. in Sumner that will serve as the new location of a library.

Lakewood and Sumner could see their libraries rebuilt under a plan being considered by the Pierce County Library System.

The system’s board will discuss moving and rebuilding the two cities’ libraries at a meeting June 12.

The Lakewood Library, almost 60 years old, and the 40-year-old Sumner Library would cost millions to upgrade and repair, system spokeswoman Mary Getchell said, so the board is looking into new locations.

The Sumner location would be on East Main Street, and Lakewood ideally would be downtown.

In building new libraries, the system would focus on building spaces for people, not books, Getchell said.

Library-goers complain about not enough public meeting rooms, parking spaces and open areas for classes and events like job help, visiting authors and story time.

The library system hopes to jumpstart a public discussion and will distribute flyers at the Lakewood farmers markets and at evening events this summer, Getchell said.

The board also will take up the topic at its June 12 meeting at the Graham Library on 224th Street. The meeting begins at 3:30 p.m. The system also plans open houses to foster conversations.

“We want to get the word out to find the interest,” Getchell said. “We serve so many diverse communities we want to ensure people are heard.”

The cost is uncertain, but the system should have an estimate in the fall when a proposal is presented to the board. If the board approves the plans, the decision would face a public vote.

More information

Sumner

Downtown Sumner Sidewalk Sale on June 15

Lakewood

Lakewood Senior Center Aging Expo, June

Lakewood Farmers Market, June 25, July 16 and 23

SummerFEST in Lakewood, July 13

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