Independence Co. Library begins looking for new home downtown

INDEPENDENCECOUNTY, AR (KAIT) – The Independence County Library hopes the next chapter inits history includes a new building.

County officialsare now hunting for a new home for the library after its governing board votedto consider moving the library to a new location.

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

Adams says thelibrary has simply outgrown its current facility, located on Main Street indowntown Batesville. She has compiled a long list of other issues with thebuilding.

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

Adams says onething the library's missing is a community room large enough to host localcivic groups for meetings or even the library's various programs, like computerclasses and book clubs.

Parking has alsobecome very limited, and the facility does not have any dedicated handicappedaccess for people.

"It's just obviouswe need a new space," Adams says. "The building is just not accommodating us atall."

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

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

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

She says the countyhas yet to look at any specific buildings to house the library. She's alsounsure what the budget for the project is, but hopes to move in the next yearor two.

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

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

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