Independence Co. Library begins looking for new home downtown - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Independence Co. Library begins looking for new home downtown

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INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) – The Independence County Library hopes the next chapter in its history includes a new building.

County officials are now hunting for a new home for the library after its governing board voted to consider moving the library to a new location.

"We are bursting at the seams," says Vanessa Adams, the county librarian.

Adams says the library has simply outgrown its current facility, located on Main Street in downtown Batesville. She has compiled a long list of other issues with the building.

"We definitely need more space," she says. "The biggest issue is the space."

Adams says one thing the library's missing is a community room large enough to host local civic groups for meetings or even the library's various programs, like computer classes and book clubs.

Parking has also become very limited, and the facility does not have any dedicated handicapped access for people.

"It's just obvious we need a new space," Adams says. "The building is just not accommodating us at all."

She hopes the county keeps these issues in mind, as officials search for a new facility. The new building, she says, not only has to be affordable and strong enough to hold the books, but also still be located downtown.

"It's kind of tradition that the library's down here on Main Street or at least near Main Street," she says. "I don't think we'll move if we can't move anywhere close to downtown."

Adams admits that is a tall order for Independence County Judge Robert Griffin, who is leading the search for the new library.

She says the county has yet to look at any specific buildings to house the library. She's also unsure what the budget for the project is, but hopes to move in the next year or two.

In the meantime, she says the library will gladly accept recommendations on real estate, just as they take requests for new books.

"We love suggestions," she says, laughing. "If you think you've found us a good place to have a library that we can afford, definitely let us know."

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