Public library on the move

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By Lorrie Kinkade


The Trimble Banner

Additional computers, two study rooms, an expanded multi-purpose room and a reading garden are just a few of the features planned for the new Trimble County Public Library.

The library’s Board of Trustees has announced intentions to move forward with plans for a new 10,000 sq. ft. building to be located just south of the Bedford city limits, on U.S. 42 near Shepherd Lane.

“We are hopeful to arrange financing ... and maybe by the end of 2009 start construction,” board vice president Steve Tharp said last week.

Although the group first sought to expand services at a location within the city limits of Bedford, the search for a suitable building or appropriate lot to build on proved futile.

“We looked quite extensively,” Board President Jane Beckner said last week. “There wasn’t anything available for purchase that that would work.”

“We really had limited options,” member Lori Jameson added.

Board members said they recognize the need for accessibility to the library, but point to the proposed location, just 7/10 of a mile from the current 4,000 sq. ft. facility, as the best option for the growing library.

“We did try hard to look for something in down town Bedford. But this land is the best choice,” Tharp said.

Additional parking, a safe area for outdoor children’s programs and room to expand were among the selling points that encouraged the group to purchase the two-acre plot where a dilapidated barn now sits.

Although the group has already invested $60,000 in the venture, for the property, as well as initial architectural fees, there is still a long way to go and the public’s involvement is vital.

Total cost of the new library project is expected to reach $2.5 million, a large portion of which could come from a KIPDA Community Development Block Grant. Public support is critical for the grant and board members hope to substantiate the need for a larger library through an upcoming door-to-door survey.

Volunteers will conduct the survey later this month, visiting 400 randomly selected homes in the county. The survey, library Director Kathy McKown said, will take approximately two minutes and all answers will be kept confidential and will be seen only by data processors at the state level.

Originally, the survey was expected to begin Feb. 7, however the recent inclement weather will postpone the canvas.

Watch The Trimble Banner for information on the rescheduled dates.

“Our children’s program is already quite large and the new building will allow it to continue to grow. We will also be able to expand activities for teens,” Jameson said. “There is so much we can do with a larger building.”

The library’s Board of Trustees meets at noon the 4th Monday of each month in the library conference room. Meetings are open to the public.