Columbus Metropolitan Library officials are seeking storefront space in the Northland area, preferably along Morse Road, to establish a computer center.

Columbus Metropolitan Library officials are seeking storefront space in the Northland area, preferably along Morse Road, to establish a computer center.

This would help reduce or alleviate the computer waiting time experienced by patrons of the Karl Road and Northern Lights library branches, according to Tony Howard, service area manager for both facilities.

He said earlier this month that the wait time at the Karl Road branch is around 45 minutes.

At the Northern Lights branch, the waiting time can be between one and two hours.

"Different times of the year, it goes up and then comes down," Howard said.

Howard first raised the subject at a meeting of the Northland Community Council in early January.

He said then that library officials were hoping to put together enough funding from grants and federal stimulus money to have as many as 80 computers packed with library technology at the standalone facility.

Some computers would remain for use at each of the branches, according to How-ard.

He said that about 8,000 square feet of space is needed to accommodate what would amount to a pilot project that might one day be expanded throughout the city.

This is being modeled on an effort undertaken by officials with the Denver Public Library, Howard told NCC members.

When several of those present at the NCC meeting pointed out state Route 161 had many vacant storefronts, Howard said he was aware of that situation but that a Morse Road location would be more central to the area served by the two libraries.

Funding is being sought to operate the pilot project for three years, Howard said. The computers would offer filtered Internet access and all the programs currently available over the ones that patrons use at the library branches.

The future may even see computer instruction classes held at such centers, Howard added.

"Right now we're in the planning phases," he said.