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Countywide : Library Chief to Discuss Alternatives for Funding

Innovative solutions to the statewide funding crisis for libraries will be explored at an all-day seminar in Brea on Thursday.

Delivering the keynote address at The Forum for Entrepreneurial Libraries will be Dr. Kevin Starr, California’s newly appointed state librarian. Starr will speak on “The Entrepreneurial Library: Current Practice, Future Opportunities.”

Among those attending will be librarians, city and county managers, finance directors, library commissioners and library supporters from throughout California.

One of the event organizers is Stephen Langston, president of Irvine-based Snyder Langston, a real estate and construction services company. Langston envisions future libraries as being anchor tenants in centers geared toward information-related businesses.

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These park-like centers could be on city-owned land, he said, that would be leased to companies, such as computer and book stores, and businesses that offer copying and faxing services. Lease income from these companies would help pay for library construction costs, and also pay for a significant portion of the library’s operating expenses.

People working on research projects would find such centers helpful, Langston said, because they could gather data from the library for free, then process the material for a fee at one or more of the adjoining retail establishments.

“There are some really neat opportunities” for financially supporting libraries, Langston said. And this entrepreneurial approach is also in keeping with the trend toward privatization in government, he said.

At the forum in Brea Langston will discuss: “The Library as a Joint Venture Partner.” Other topics will include “The Library as a Real Estate Asset,” “Capitalizing on the Library as a Catalyst for Urban Revitalization,” and “Past, Present and Future Images of the Library.”

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The forum will be at the Embassy Suites Hotel. The registration fee is $50.

For more information, call Wendy Petak at Snyder Langston Real Estate and Construction Services, (714) 863-9200.


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