Libraries growing in one Region 8 county

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

SHARP COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Three libraries in Sharp County have recently come into some money for building and expansion.

Even in this day of technology, laptops, I-Pads, Droids etc. A library still plays a vital role . Fifteen year old library patron Brittanii Herrin told me why she thought the libraries were so important.

"Because a library is a very important place in the community and it gives you a chance to experience a lot of new things that most people can't experience in the every day places."

At the moment there are two functioning libraries in Sharp County, one at Williford the other in Hardy.

As you may recall the Williford library is about the size of a walk in closet and has a tendency to be flooded.

The New library being built by Precision Plus Construction up on Highway 63, won't, flood that is. And it's much bigger.

Library Patron Marilyn Bischoff showed me around the new building.

"We were going to renovate the little building that was here but we realized that was not practical. So that was torn down and we designed a brand new building and this is it."

The Williford Library received $235 thousand including 35 thousand in stimulus funds to build the building.

Just recently they received another 37 Thousand to finish the building.

Bischoff, "Furnishings, shelving and computers." They will have 5 computers with Internet access and 2 in the children's section that won't.

In Hardy they have two book sales a year for the Friends of the Library where they raise money for those extra expenses. You can find some great deals here like Air Progress magazines from the 70's. Do you remember when you paid 60 cents for a magazine? The sale was running on Friday and Saturday of this month.

And the shoppers were grabbing up books by the bag and boxful. Hardy Librarian Cecilia Mullins told me those extra expenses can vary.

"We had new carpet installed, had our windows taken care of, sealing and washing and  they pay for our yard work."

But you can't hardly sell enough used books to pay for expansion. Another grant was necessary. Actually several grants, including a small piece of property, was given to Hardy.

Hardy Mayor Nina Thornton who had been doing a little shopping herself filled me in.

"We're going into a 1500 square foot addition to the library with 280 thousand dollars."

The other town in Sharp County to receive a library grant is Ash Flat. The plan is to remodel the present fire station into a new library. This could take a little while since the Fire Department currently has no new home but the city is working on acquiring a new location close to the Wal-Mart.

Cecilia Mullins says it's a good time for libraries to search for funds for major projects.

"Right now if you are looking for funding for a library it is out there. So I need to tell every other librarian to jump on board because there is a lot of library funding out there."

If you love books and reading it's a great time to be in Sharp County.

The Williford Library is scheduled to open in November and construction is scheduled to begin in Hardy in January. No firm date is scheduled yet for Ash Flat.

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