Education to Expand with the Library

Although strapped for space, the Anderson Public Library provides many educational services for students of all ages and will be expanding soon to accommodate even more.  Pamela Mullins, director of the library, explained all of the fascinating programs the library hosts for students.  Pamela explained that starting with preschoolers, the library helps young children to navigate a book and prepares them to learn further.  Older age groups have other opportunities including Saturday programs for students struggling with reading or math.  There are also numerous programs for teens including career and nutrition classes and a teen advisory board which helps build leadership skills to prepare them for either college or the workforce.

But many of these programs are reaching capacity for the library.  According to Pamela, the library currently doesn’t even meet minimum state standards for the size of the building compared to the size of the community.  And, as Lawrenceburg grows, the situation is getting worse.  Pamela explained that many of the events and programs held at the library are reaching upwards of 60-70 or more attendees, and the current meeting rooms available are just not large enough.  She further said that they had to move the summer reading program out into the main library where they had to move book shelving to accommodate the large group.

Other services are also being limited due to space.  Boxes of books piling up in the back office which could be used for more personnel, limited space for special computers for young children to play educational games, and a small teen section are just some of the areas that Pamela wants to improve.  However, with the plans for expanding the library getting closer to being finalized, a light in the tunnel is now being formed.

Even though news of the expansion seemed sudden and controversial with taxpayers due to the $4 million price tag, initial planning for it was done back when the current library was built.  And, the plans for the expansion are quite fiscally sound.  According to Pamela, the current library building had a 20 year note that was paid off in 7 years.  After the mortgage was paid, all the funds that would have gone to it went into a special fund for the expansion project.  With saved funding reaching near half of what is needed for the expansion, the library will only need to finance the other half which is roughly what the mortgage was for the current building.

However, taxes are always a concern with residents.  Many wondered whether taxes will be increased for the expansion, but Pamela sees no need for any tax increases for the expansion.  Actually, during the period of paying the mortgage for the current building, taxes for the library were decreased.

Pamela has many goals for the new expanded library.  Not only will the new addition allow the library to meet state standards for a minimum of 20 years, it will bring much needed room for all the various programs and opportunities offered there.  With a fully redesigned interior, it will allow the library to also hire more staff and shelve more books to accommodate the needs of the community.  The new library will help many in the county, especially the children.

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Posted in Family & Community, School & Education.

4 Comments

  1. The library is always crowded with people of all ages. Anyone who doesn’t think the addition is needed has probably never set foot in this building.

    They are doing a good job with programs for all age. They provide meeting space for community groups. The computers are in demand by adults and kids. I’ve been using one of their online classes to learn a foreign language. I also use the History and Genealogy room regularly. It’s the only local place to do research. We can be proud to have this library in our community.

  2. I have always been amazed at the services and usage at The Anderson County Public Library. This has been true from the little building until today! How wonderful to be able to provide for 20 years of growth with no additional expense to the public. (I am a former employee of The Department for Libraries & Archives.)

  3. I had been a fan of the Anderson Public Library since the early 1970’s. I took my children when they were young. Ann McWilliams was awesome…the best of the best!

    The microfilm reader they have should be thrown in the junk pile. I brought microfilm that I had personally ordered thinking I would have the opportunity to view them at the library. They didn’t even have anyone who knew how to operate it. I didn’t go back after seeing what they had. They do not even promote genealogy.

    If they don’t make improvements in that area, I will be very disappointed!!! Yes, I pay property taxes in Anderson County. Just venting.

  4. I have been going to this library for over 30 years. I’m all about the library but they are taking too much of our tax money.

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