But in a report last year, UDARP acknowledged, "There was a great difference in opinion between the community and the Enoch Pratt Library as to the general direction" of the project.

"We certainly support rehabilitation of public libraries," Imbriano said. She said the planning department's role is to facilitate communication between residents and the city and that General Services promised last year to take residents' concerns into account.

"Have we been consulted? No," Kathleen Henderson, of Oakenshawe, a member of the new committee and of the group Friends of the Waverly Library, said Saturday.

Imbriano said the community room would seat roughly 80 people after the renovation, which committee members on Saturday said is overstating the capacity from what they have seen of the plans, and isn't enough capacity in any case.


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Imbriano said she understands concerns about needing a bigger community room. But she said although it's an important accessory use, it's not the main purpose of the library.

She also said there's no way to expand the building, because it is surrounded by streets on all sides and fills its lot.

"You would have to take away from shelf space," she said.

Henderson disagreed with that assessment, too, arguing there is plenty of square footage to expand the west side of the library, where the community room is now, toward the sidewalk on Barclay Street.

"We definitely need a community meeting space that seats at least 150 people," Sparks said. "Church halls are not the answer."

But Clarke, who did not attend the meeting Saturday, said if nothing else, the Waverly branch would be a better resource for children after the renovations.

"We must have the library," she said. "The library is really about what's inside."