If you’ve driven past the corner of Eastman and Division in Gresham you’ve seen a lot of construction activity as we begin to build our new East County Library that will serve as our community living room. We know that libraries, especially larger ones, are drivers of economic development - resulting in increased foot traffic and higher density development. For example, Seattle Public Library’s Central location returned $16 million net in new dollars to the local economy during its first year of operation. And with 450,000 annual visitors projected to visit the new East County Library, not only will it bring increased equity and access to patrons, but it will also support local businesses.
I am grateful to each of you who have shared your thoughts on what the library should look like and what service should be offered. I hope you will continue to stay involved as the library begins to take shape. Scheduled to be open in the Fall of 2025, this beautiful space is going to be transformational for the entire county; but of course it will have a special place in the heart and daily lives of East County residents for decades to come.