The Orem City Library is bulging at the seams, but a group called Friends of the Library has come up with what they think is the perfect solution.

At Orem's City Council meeting Tuesday night, the Friends of the Library and the library staff presented a proposal for a children's library, which would be an addition to the present library building."This is a chance for us to invest in the future," said councilwoman Joyce W. Johnson. That future, she said, is the children of the city.

And it would be an investment.

City manager Daryl Berlin said the new library could cost from $2.5 million to $3 million by the time it is adequately equipped and staffed.

Karen Ashton represented the Friends of the Library, a 2-year-old organization designed to provide equipment and services to the library.

The Friends of the Library has organized various activities, including the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, and have been able to raise $133,000 toward the new facility.

"It may not be a lot, but it isn't chopped liver," Ashton said. "We are enthusiastic about the project and we won't give up."

Ashton emphasized that all of the money the Friends earn will go toward the upkeep of the library and the new children's library.

"It's not just the library," Ashton said. "We feel verystrongly about the children as our future, and we want to do everything we can to support them."

Louise Wallace, library public services director, and Dennis Clark, library technical services director, explained why there is a need for a new facility.

"More patrons are checking out more items and doing it more frequently," Wallace said. Since 1970, the number of library card holders has increased from 10,000 to 43,000, and the number of items checked out annually increased from 156,000 to 800,000.

When the library was first dedicated in 1970, the system was equipped to handle about 3,000 items a week, she said. Now, through the computerized systems, the library sees about 3,000 items daily go through its doors.

Other problems include insufficient lighting, too much noise because of the architectural interior of the building and limited access to restrooms.

Wallace also said the library had to get rid of its filmstrip, mounted picture and flannelboard collections to make room for other things.

Clark presented some ideas to solve the problem, including limiting library services, filling in the mezzanine area and opening branch libraries.

But the only proposed solution that seemed feasible was the children's library, Clark said. "And we have felt a great commitment to it from the city and residents."

"This grows out of our commitment to children and to be a real `Family City USA,' " he said.