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Library to take month-long hiatus to finish expansion

December 19, 2012
Editor's note: Due to miscommunication between the Crawford County Public Library staff and board members, the dates of the library closure have been altered from what appeared in the print version of the article. The library will be closed Jan. 1 to Feb. 4.

Logistics problems in the last phase of the Crawford County Public Library expansion project have forced board members to close the facility in order to complete the needed renovations to the original part of the building.

The library will close Jan. 1 and is scheduled to re-open on Feb. 4.

Rain or shine, work has continued on the Crawford County Public Library expansion project. Photo by Leslie Radcliff
The $137,700 addition to the building is on track despite some small setbacks and is expected to finish by the end of the year.

"The construction of the new addition is right on track," Director Tracy Underhill said. "They're carpeting the entire building, and that's what is causing the issue. Part of it is that the carpet had to be ordered, and we couldn't do that until it was time to put it in."

Underhill said the carpeting project is a tricky one because of the way the library is currently laid out.

"We have to do it in stages because each area will have to be shifted around in order to put carpet down," she said.

Part of the problem is, when the building was constructed originally and the bookcases were installed, they were brought in within boxes and assembled inside the building.

"We can't take some of them out the doors because they simply won't fit," Underhill said. "So, we're going to have to get creative."

The new addition has added 2,000 square feet of space to the facility and includes a new conference room, children's area, storage rooms and easily accessible attic storage.

"It's really a blessing, and it's going to be really great when we can finally get in here and get to work on putting the building back together and setting up for the public," Underhill said. "We are going to be able to serve so many more people."

With this addition, board members and library personnel hope to continue the long tradition of community activism and support that has become a tradition for the library.

Betz Brothers also will be reworking some of the current space. What is currently the children's reading area will become a lab for computers after the renovations are completed.

Updated Internet service is also in the works. The library will have a fiber optics cable installed and that will ensure "lightning-fast" Internet connections.

Underhill stressed that, for those who have checked out books due back after Monday, they will still be due before or on the due date or fines will be incurred.

"We are still going to be here checking the book drop and making sure that everything is in order," she said. "We will be doing this in stages, so we will still be able to keep up with returns."

All funds for the project have come from the riverboat gaming revenue the library receives from the county each year. Riverboat monies must be used for capital improvements and cannot be utilized for operational expenses. The library will have no debt after the project is completed.

"We would really like to thank the community for being so patient during this process," Underhill said. "We apologize for the inconvenience, but, with these changes, we are going to be able to bring so much more to the community."

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    On line books
    January 13, 2013 | 12:31 PM

    With all this updating will the members of the library be able to get books on their tablets to read on line? No library in Crawford County offers this and it something we all would love to have.

    Sandy Ely
Barbara Shaw
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