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An eye for expansion

Expanded Carroll Co. Public Library
will provide much needed services

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

CARROLLTON, Ky. (October 2006) – In late spring 2007, Carroll County citizens will get a boost to their local library offerings. This is the projected completion date for the library expansion project.

Carroll County Library

Photo by Don Ward

Carroll County’s library expansion has been
under way all summer, and completion
is expected by spring 2007.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held June 28 for the $2 million project. The present building will increase in size from 6,000 square feet to 13,100 square feet.
This is a complete renovation, said Library Director Jarrett Boyd. About 12 years ago, the Carroll County Library Foundation purchased adjoining property “with an eye for future expansion,” said Boyd.
Since then, the property had been leased to Linda Johnson who owned the Port William Antique Mall. Formerly, the building housed a Dollar General Store.
The new library will expand back to Fourth Street with an entrance at this end across from the Jefferson Community College campus. Woodburn, Kyle and Co. of Madison, Ind., conducted a marketing study in 2004 to determine what features a new library should contain.
Jim Ellington, president of the Library Foundation, said he speculated the current facility was built in the 1960s. “The new expansion will double the current size. We will renovate existing space and add to it.”
The existing building was demolished prior to June 28. Some site preparations have been completed and “the adjoining lot is ready to build on,” said Boyd. David Construction Co. of Louisville submitted the lowest bid for this project and has completed other projects within the county.
Improved amenities will include a larger community room that will contain a data projector and telecommunications equipment. The latter will be useful for the local Fourth Monday Book Group to interview an author, said Boyd. There will be a certain area for a coffee stand to brew fresh coffee. Visitors can sit in a designated section and have a cup of coffee while they read.
The library plans to purchase a laptop computer, which can be checked out at the desk and used in the library. Classes on computer use will be offered in the community room. The library will become a wireless facility, said Boyd, so that patrons can come in with their laptops and not need a plug-in facility to use them.
These technological upgrades will provide a great service for local businesses, said Ellington. The library is expanding with better capabilities, he said, making services more up-to-date.
A local history and genealogy room will provide access to microfilm and historical documents, necessary tools for anyone researching their family history. A teen area will be available, something “the library has not had in the past,” Boyd said.
The children’s wing will contain an activity room for children’s programming with a children’s desk area and two computers. The Youth Services Librarian will now have more room in which to plan and carry out programs.
“Reading (at an early age) is a critical thing,” said Carroll County Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson. Reading promotes good understanding at an early age, and the library offers “something for all ages,” he said.
Tomlinson said Carroll County Fiscal Court supported the project through the general public, especially through local industries. “North American Stainless was the first to step forward,” donating $100,000 to the library expansion project because of the importance of the library, said Tomlinson.
Dowel Corning matched the $100,000 donation, Fiscal Court also gave $100,000, and $500,000 has been raised to date. Residents, smaller industries and foundations have contributed as well.
Boyd said $1.5 million was borrowed from the USDA Rural Development program. She has applied for a grant from the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives to pay off this debt. The grant will pay $64,000 toward the debt over the next 20 years, leaving a balance that will be paid off through fund-raising efforts, grants and donations.
There is no question that the library gets a lot of daily use. “As grandparents, my wife and I spend a lot of time there with the grandkids,” said Ellington. “A lot of kids go through the library, and there is an influx of minority groups as well.” Ellington also worked with the Adult Literacy Program project.
“I hope it will be everything library customers want it to be,” said Boyd.

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