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Palmyra home to new county library branch



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photo by Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor.

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The new, 8,000-square-foot branch of the Harrison County Public Library in Palmyra has eight computers. An open house for the facility was held Sunday, June 13, with it opening for business the next day. photo by Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor.
June 23, 2010
The Harrison County Public Library opened its second branch for business Monday, June 14, a day after giving the public a glimpse of the 3,000-square-foot facility located along S.R. 135 south of Palmyra.

"I feel very fortunate to have seen the library become a county library," Vi Eckart, HCPL director for 23-1/2 years, said Sunday afternoon, June 13, during an open house.

The Corydon Public Library became a countywide facility in 1999 and opened its first branch, in Lanesville, in mid-November.

"Most (library) directors don't get to experience even one of these things," Eckart said, also mentioning the extensive renovation of an old bank building in downtown Corydon into a modern library to complement the old Carnegie building that once housed all library materials.

Michell Timperman Ritz in New Albany was the architect for the new building in Palmyra, and James L. Shireman Inc. was the construction managing firm.

The Palmyra branch, at 689 Haub St., is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eckart said she would eventually like to add Sunday afternoon hours.

"This I love," Dr. Sharon Uhl, vice president of the Harrison County Public Library Board of Trustees, said of the teen section, which has a computer available for use.

Cushioned chairs in the section have built-in swivel pads for use with laptop computers or for use as writing desks. A chess set waits for use, too.

Eckart said Wi-Fi is available at the library.

DVDs and videos are located near the teen section. Patrons also will find a selection of newspapers and magazines, as well as eight computers with high-speed Internet connections. The computers are hooked to a copier, which has a job-release station.

The layout of the Palmyra branch is similar to the Lanesville branch, with the children's section at the opposite end of the building. Both ends have a window seat. The children's section at Palmyra also has two computers available for educational games.

"They have a lot of different things pre-loaded on them," Uhl said.

During the open house, Cosette Spears entertained children, and some adults, with balloon art.

A bike rack and book drop are located on the north side of the Palmyra library branch. There also are two outdoor seating areas.

Nikki Esarey is the lead circulation associate at the Palmyra branch. Her staff members are Shawnda Mosson, Sharon Rudolph, Carla Farmer and Ashley Jarboe.

Sandra Sears checked out the library during the open house and anticipates going there rather than making the trip from her Bradford home to Corydon.

"The concept of the library could attract so many people," she said, adding that libraries are important to communities. "I really applaud the community's effort" to open library branches and for trying to keep up with today's ever-changing technology.

Sears also commended Dailene Bobbitt's artwork, some in black and white and others in sepia, which hangs in the Palmyra library. (Bobbitt's drawings also can be found in the Lanesville branch.)

Members of the Friends of the Library served cake, lemonade and water in the community, which includes a small kitchen. Uhl said the room, which can be closed off from the rest of the library, can be used for other events.

Also on hand were many of the library's board of trustees. Board members are Dr. Leonard Waite, president; Uhl, vice president; Christine Pendleton, secretary; Thomas Tucker, treasurer; and Viola Behr, Jon Howerton and Linda Zabel, members at large.

The library has more than 1,000 participants, ages 2 through teens, signed up for its summer reading program.

Eckart said the library's next project is to open a branch in Elizabeth at the South Harrison Community Development Center (the old schoolhouse) and then focus on the Carnegie building, located at 117 W. Beaver St., that was dedicated Dec. 24, 1914, as the Corydon Public Library.

The phone number at the Palmyra library branch is 364-6425.

For information about any of the Harrison County Public Library's facilities, call the main branch at 738-4110 or visit its website at www.hcpl.lib.in.us.

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