Last month (from left), Marianne Gibbons, Kellie Judt, Marcia Gibbons and Key Center librarian Holly Smith were spotted assembling duct tape wallets during a craft project at the Key Center Library meeting room. Photo by Ed Johnson, KP News


New improvements are slated for the Key Center Library and should start near the end of this year.

Something else community-oriented has recently been added to the construction agenda.

The Pierce County Library Foundation and the Friends of the Key Center Library are garnering public support to help fund some upgrades the allocated $250,000 budget does not cover.

According to Mary Getchell, Pierce County Library marketing and community relations director, the foundation and Friends are seeking an additional $33,270 to pay for improvements to the branch meeting room in time to coincide with their scheduled three-month window of construction.

Getchell said the popular room is heavily used and the timing is right to flip the spot into something grand.

“We use it for our events, our programs, our story times and activities like that. The community also uses the room for various free activities,” she said.

Getchell wants to see the meeting room transformed into a flexible, high-use community space. With donated funding coming in, the groups want to add new carpet and paint, wheeled tables and chairs, a youth computer station and a “cyber bar” where people can plug in laptops and electronic devices and have Internet accessibility.

The funded library improvements will benefit many, but the foundation and Friends are working together on the extra project as a mutual purpose.

“We truly believe this space is important for the community and we know it’s important for the kids. There really isn’t a place for the kids to go after school so we want to identify that meeting room space to be a Monday through Friday after-school concept,” she said.

During similar (but more expensive) library upgrades in University Place and Lakewood, Getchell said community members graciously donated in $20 to $1,000 increments and made a huge difference in the projects’ completion.

“The library is a community library. We want to make these improvements in the meeting room and in order to do that we need the community support. If we can get them to help this particular element, that would be incredible,” Getchell said.

At the time of this report, they have raised more than $10,000.

For information or to donate call the Key Center Library at (253)548-3309 or the Pierce County Library Foundation at (253) 548-3460.