Columns & Blogs » Open Mic

Barn Raising

Working to build a new Sebastopol library



LANTERN (Library Association for a New Techno-Current Regional Entity) was founded last year to spearhead a new library for Sebastopol. It includes seven board members who share this vision and a growing advisory board helping us meet our goal. As board members, we recognize that Sebastopol has outgrown its library. Even though the library was recently remodeled, it is overused and lacks facilities and technology to meet the needs of the future.

Building a new Sebastopol library will take many years.LANTERN envisions a new library of extraordinary beauty that functions effectively for all users and for a variety of functions. The citizens of Sebastopol and the West County will benefit from a design that attracts people and draws them into the building. The new library will meet the needs of a digitally dominated age.

This library will, of course, be primarily an information source, an access to books, computers and media. The 21st-century library also has programs to educate and entertain us. The new library will also have quiet study areas that our current library lacks, and will serve as a meeting place and hub for finding and sharing knowledge.

LANTERN is seeking input from all ages and fields to determine what the community will want from a new library. A design team will work with the city of Sebastopol to help create an initial plan so costs can be determined.

We are considering a bond issue on the West County ballot to help pay for this new library. We are also seeking funding from foundations, companies and individuals, and government grants.

We ask Sebastopol library users to let us know what they want from a new facility. We're also looking for intellectual and financial assistance. Donations can be made at any Exchange Bank branch under the name LANTERN.

LANTERN is a registered nonprofit organization with pending tax-exempt status, and your donation is tax deductible. Contact us at

Clark Mitchel is a Sebasopol resident and the co-chair of LANTERN.

Open Mic is a weekly feature in the 'Bohemian.' We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write


Add a comment