The main library on Cherry Lane is a 27,760 square foot building and was built in 1996 for a city of 40,000 residents. This same location served a resident base of 87,743 in 2015.
In 2009, the site added an overflow parking lot and purchased a small building (The Annex) where library materials are cataloged and processed. The Annex also houses accounting, human resources, and additional administrative offices for the district.
The Silverstone branch opened in 2009 to provide services in South Meridian with 4,500 square feet and carries an expensive commercial lease. Parking is limited, programs are over capacity, computers have daily wait-lists, and the facility has limited access to power outlets and little design flexibility.
In 1996, the library's staff consisted of 7.95 FTE (full-time equivalent) and in 2016, it has grown to 49. Currently, some staff members are working in converted storage closets and many don't have dedicated workstations at all.
- Branch programs are exceeding space capacity -- Silverstone storytimes average over 50 people, with up to 120 people at peak times. These patrons share a space of approximately 800 square feet and block access to the restrooms whenever a program is underway.
- Collections are too small for community need with a selection of books and other materials that is inadequate but cannot be expanded due to space constraints. Meridian Library currently stocks 1.63 print books per capita, a ratio which increases to 2 items per capita when including all collections. This compares poorly to a national average of 4 items per capita for a population of 50,000-99,999.
Even with the addition of these library locations, by the year 2020, the library's footprint will still be operating under the standard of one square foot per capita for public libraries. Currently, we are operating at .44 square foot per capita and shrinking due to the growth of the community.