Meet The People Building UP’s New Library


The folks at the Plaza at Preston Center has a “topping-out” ceremony today, to commemorate the completion of the steel structure that will — within six months — hold the University Park Public Library.

I say “topping out” because, well, there was no topping of anything. It was just a ceremony. But I’m off-topic.

The folks in the photo above are some of the 500 workers pouring, pounding, sheathing, welding, and sweating to make sure the project’s done on time. If you use the library, and see any of them, give a quick thanks.

22 thoughts on “Meet The People Building UP’s New Library

  • June 29, 2012 at 1:55 pm
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    I still don’t get it.
    Who made the decision to spend money on this? Library’s are going the way of buggy whips. And doesn’t HP have a library? Does UP really need a library? Anyone think of maybe doubling up on libraries that no one uses(I know I know 15 people will chime up to say *they* use the library. All 15 of them.)
    And why is the UP library in Dallas not UP?
    SMU has a fine library(ies). Ever think of maybe sharing those libraries?
    Did the tax payers of UP ever really get a chance to have a say on this?
    IJS

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  • June 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm
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    Eric, the southeast corner of Preston and Northwest Highway is in University Park. Once you cross either street, you’re in Dallas.

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  • June 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm
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    Eric-

    All good questions. A few answers:

    – The library is in University Park. It’s in the Plaza at Preston Center, not Preston Center.
    – The city is receiving the floors in the building for the library cost-free, in exchange for some public rights-of-way.
    – University Park already has a library, just not a permanent location.

    Thanks for reading.

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  • June 29, 2012 at 3:50 pm
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    @Eric, you clearly have no facts to back up your opinions. What municipalities are closing libraries? How many card holders does the UP Library have? (I’m sure more than 15!) Just because HP has a library does not mean they will let UP residens use it (same with their pool). In fact, HP charges a fee to get a library card. It used to be $150, although that may have changed.

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  • June 29, 2012 at 3:54 pm
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    Also, most of the money the city has earmarked for the library has come from a private donation so the taxpayer costs have been low.

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  • June 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm
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    Eric-
    HP doesn’t let UP folks use their library. They do participate in the Inter-System Reciprocal Borrowing Covenant but that requires that your city has a library also in the convenant. So, if UP didn’t have a library, UP residents would not have access to HP’s. Dallas allows UP residents to use their library for the low-low price of $250!

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  • June 29, 2012 at 4:08 pm
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    Parkie,

    The library becomes a city department Oct 1st, there will no more “low cost”

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  • June 29, 2012 at 4:11 pm
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    BM- FWIW, even come October, the city’s contributed cost to the library will say approximately the same as it has for the past few years. The Friends of the Library will still be responsible for much of its operating cost.

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  • June 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm
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    Brad,

    You hide and watch! It will decline and the city will have to pay.

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  • June 29, 2012 at 5:56 pm
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    Parkie..there is no fee for HP residents to use the HP library.

    By the way, municipalities across the country are having to consider closing city libraries or have closed libraries due to budget crises. It’s happening, just realize there is a bigger world out there besides the PC.

    Be nice Parkie! Happy 4th.

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  • June 29, 2012 at 8:10 pm
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    Non-HP residents pay $200/year to get a HP library card: http://www.hptx.org/index.aspx?page=182 Yes, it would be wonderful if HP and UP could share the library, as they share the school district, but for whatever reason that has never happened.

    I don’t know of many/any university libraries that allow non-student/staff borrowing privileges. SMU does allow alum to get a library card for $20.

    UP library cardholders can borrow from the Dallas library via the TexShare program. If you don’t have a UP library card/TexShare you can borrow 5 DPL items for $25 or pay an annual fee of $250 to borrow books. Or, if your office is in Dallas, you can get your CEO to write a letter on company letterhead to get you borrowing privileges. I’m sure that’s top on his/her list of things to do. Oh, but forget about it if your company has already done this for 2 employees–no more than 2 cards per company will be issued.

    In fact, UP is one of the few libraries that has NO residency requirement. Anyone can get a UP library card. I’m sure the UP xenophobes will have a field day with that one.

    The UP Library is a huge asset and I’m one of the 15 who use it weekly. When we first moved to UP I couldn’t believe that the city did not have a library. It is a great institution for the city and my family eagerly anticipates the opening. Libraries are one of the few things that you can’t put a price on (but I hope they stick to their budget). I realize it doesn’t begin to compare to the importance of an indoor high school football field, but some of us actually like books.

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  • June 30, 2012 at 11:51 am
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    @AB- I’m not anti-book – I have a large library myself – I am anti-stupidity.
    With the advent of this new thing called THE COMPUTER, books can had at very little cost in digital editions. Maybe it would have cost the taxpayers less if UP had just bought every kid in UP a Kindle?
    You can put a price on anything including wasting taxpayer money. “But if only one child were saved, wouldn’t it be worth it?” – generally speaking, no it wouldn’t.
    Libraries once served a great purpose. They have become almost entirely obsolete. If a bunch of Luddites want to get together and make libraries in 2012 (or buggy whip factories for that matter) with their own money – more power to them. But at the point of a gun to take money that has been earned by individuals (and yes, try not paying your taxes and see if someone doesn’t eventually show up who is armed)in order to fund someone’s idea of nostalgia is wrong.
    I challenge PCP to follow up on this in October of 2013 to determine the actual cost to UP taxpayers after one year of “free” or “mostly paid by private donations” service.

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  • June 30, 2012 at 9:37 pm
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    @Eric, I think the library reflects the needs and wants of the community, which has many older residents who may never own an electronic reader.
    Not everyone in our community can afford to purchase all the books they want to read, electronic or not. A lending library still has great relevance, even in 2012. Maybe they won’t be used as much in the future, but we’re not there yet.
    The UP library is not starting from scratch. It has been in existence for quite some time, with great support from the city’s residents. I know you’re critical of it, but I don’t hear others sharing your view.

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  • July 2, 2012 at 9:21 am
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    Even in 2012, not everyone wants to read on a Kindle. Does Kindle have EVERY book that a library has? I’ve read some interesting books from the HP library by local authors and books about Dallas history and the biographies of men who built Dallas. There is all kinds of good stuff in the library!
    Also, aren’t we sposed to be “green”? Environmentally correct? Libraries serve that purpose. And who wants to have a bunch of already-read books stacking up at the house?
    Eric, you may not like libraries, but in 2012, a lot of us do. We support our library through Friends of the Highland Park Library”, and we support the University Park Library through their Friends group. I lived in UP for 20 years, and my children and their growing families do now. I support the UP library for them and for me. I may move back to the other side of Mockingbird one day!

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  • July 2, 2012 at 4:48 pm
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    Eric, I’m with you. In this day and age, libraries are expensive and passe. For the younger kids, the school libraries are open thru the month of June, and please don’t tell me that we can’t afford to buy them. We lend and borrow from friends, and many of the classics can be had for free online or on an electronic reader. If you are an older reader, electronic readers are great because you can adjust the size of the print unlike a hard cover book. Guess what, many of our older residents are pretty savvy. If we’re worried about the green effect, what is better than any kind of electronic reader? If the library is so necessary, how about some statistics on traffic? What kind of traffic is it according to demographic? Does anybody really believe that this huge albatross isn’t going to end up costing the city money? If you do, try to find the turnip truck from which you recently fell. With the government with its hand in my pocket all the time, I am for doing away with all unneccessary services. Just because we “have the money”, doesn’t mean it has to be spent.

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  • July 2, 2012 at 5:34 pm
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    Yes the advent of THE COMPUTER has made all kinds of things irrelevant: phone calls, mail, face to face conversation. That doesn’t mean they don’t have value.

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  • July 3, 2012 at 10:28 am
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    Anyone who writes “library’s” when they intend the plural of the word “library” needs to spend some time at… a library.

    All seriousness aside, libraries offer more than just books. Many Dallas children (doubtful this will apply to too very many UP children) get two square meals at the library at reduced rates or for free. That libraries even take a shot at shoring up local food insecurity ought to justify their brick and mortar existence.

    And if books — arguably one of the greatest human achievements/inventions in the history of ever — have become relics, then all the more reason to build a museum to them.

    Besides — taking your child to get her first library card, letting her scrawl her barely legible signature on the line, giving her the chance to value the care-taking of items entrusted to us by others, learning the importance of returning things when you’ve borrowed them — these are lessons that are difficult to teach in almost any other setting; some are practically rites of passage.

    Even when they are old and decrepit, libraries are havens of serenity and calmness; both needs which, to my mind, are just as valid as those of food, shelter, and affection. Their tacit promotion of learning for all people, their distinctive book smell, and their whispering yeoman workers — these library things are rarities that we would do well, as a city, to defend.

    Don’t hate the library, playa. It’s like kicking a sick puppy.

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  • July 3, 2012 at 2:00 pm
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    I don’t mind you building a museum to libraries of the past. I just want the people who use it to fund it. My tax dollars pay for education and necessities–not for nostalgic warm fuzzies. As for teaching of lessons, I think I can handle that as a parent through other methods. Not buying the no tax dollar pledge. Stockton,CA is a great example of how such good intentions go bad.

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  • July 3, 2012 at 11:48 pm
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    I also appreciate the services of the city’s library. We have not been able to afford all of the books that our children needed to read as assignments for school or have wanted to read for pleasure.
    The UP library has been there for us. I appreciate the many donors who have contributed through the years to the Library and the taxpayers who have also contributed.
    With my children’s education, I believe they will join the ranks of citizens who will want to provide for the education and well-being of others with services such as the parks and library.

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  • July 4, 2012 at 12:17 pm
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    How do you teach a child about libraries with no library? Wikipedia?

    And In what way isn’t a library education? Not educational — education.

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  • July 4, 2012 at 6:22 pm
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    The HP schools have fine libraries (and extraordinary librarians), and the kids get plenty of exposure. Those “life lessons” referred to earlier are certainly learned there. If you love the library, just please fund it!

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