University Park (Management Innovations)

Efforts to create a state-of-the art library in the city were achieved through collaboration between the city, Friends of the Library, and owners of a private commercial center. In 2000, the Friends of the Library opened the University Park Book Bank in space donated by a local office building owner. As popularity grew, the city began talks with the owners of a five-story, mixed-use building planned for The Plaza at Preston Center to create a permanent home for the library. Using an innovative approach, the city was able to acquire ownership of a 17,500 square foot space in the new office building at no expense to taxpayers. In exchange for ownership of that space, the city granted the center rights to the streets, sidewalks, and alleys within its boundaries. The spacious and attractive new library opened in January 2013 with the capacity to house 60,000 books and includes a large children’s area, a separate space for teens, 16 public computers, and a large community meeting room.

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