New library board works to make changes

New library board works to make changes

INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The Independence County Library has a new board and they are ready to make some changes.

The board is working to find a new location for the library and a new librarian.

According to board members, the space the library is in now is not adequate. The library currently sits in the old Independence County courthouse.

Members say the building is old and does not have enough room to house the books, rooms and offices.

"It's not the fault of the staff, it is just their limitations of the space that they have and the lack of leadership that they have in terms of the librarian," said Bill Walmsley, a library board member. "This is primarily a warehouse for books and that is not a library."

The board has their eyes on three possible buildings for a library, but they are waiting to see what rent the owners will charge.

The second issue is the library has not had a full-time librarian since 2012.

The board has tried to hire a librarian, but they say the current salary is not enough.

On Thursday board members plan to ask the Quorum Court for a budget increase so they can pay a librarian's salary.

"Since there has not been a librarian they did not realize what they should be offering and since our first try we ended up with two librarians who were interested until they heard the salary," said Merry Covington, a library board member.

The librarian will not only help reorganize the library, but will also help create the new one.

"How that library is going to be laid out, let's assume that they have got 20,000 square feet, if it is not done properly then we still can't provide the services that we need," Walmsley said.

The board hopes a new librarian and building will bring more people into the county library.

"A library should be a place of engagement," Covington said.

They also hope to host more events in the future.

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