By Steve Short
“Good news” is coming to Gibson County Commissioners next week.
Officials will hear about plans for a new, state-of-the-art, county library planned for Trenton.
At the commission’s bimonthly meeting September 14 at 9 a.m., architectural drawings of the interior of a new Gibson County Memorial Library will be presented.
Floor plans of the proposed library with descriptions of each room and its function will be presented by Library Director Lindsey Ingram and the Gibson County Memorial Library Foundation group, said Foundation Chairperson Charlotte Halford.
“We are so excited to provide each commissioner a copy of the rendering and the workup for each room,” said Halford. “When the presentation is completed September 14, we are asking the commission to approve the rendering and our plan and to allow the rendering to be published in the newspapers. We are anxious to present the plans to the public and our library’s service area.”
A foundation group of private citizens is committed to raising funds to build the new facility.
Larger building needed
The current library in Trenton is 5,200 sq. ft. in size. The new building would be more than four times larger, 23,000 sq. ft., and located on county-owned land next to the current library.
Anders Dahlgren, a consultant who has planned libraries worldwide, worked with the Trenton group on the library plans. Architect Jev Vaughn prepared the interior rendering.
“A bigger building is a need, not a want,” said Ingram. “There is no way to continue to serve the patrons of Gibson County with the number of staff and building size we currently have.
“Our library has the largest service population of all three libraries in Gibson County, over 22,000 patrons. It is the smallest building, the least funded and the least staffed. Last year our Visit Total was over 34,000 that does not include patrons we help over the phone or through Facebook.
“The services we provide can’t be found anywhere other than a library. Even state offices, such as Social Security, Disability and Unemployment are sending their clients to us and telling them we’ll help them with their applications online. I don’t think people really realize how many people we help each day.”
The Library Foundation was formed in November 2018 and granted 502c3 tax exempt status.
“The Foundation is fully committed to raising all of the funds for the construction and completion of the library,” said Halford. “We want to assure all of our friends and neighbors that there will be no tax increase for this new library. All funds will be raised through grants, loans, and commitments from the fine people of Gibson County. We have had several fundraisers and are in the process of applying for grants to assist us in raising the funds necessary to build this wonderful library.”
The Library Building Committee has met with the county Building Committee and Budget Committee, receiving permission to present plans for the new library to the full commission.
“The Library Foundation has every intention of funding the costs of the new library building,” Ingram stressed. “They do not want the financial burden to be passed to the City of Trenton or the tax payers of Gibson County. The Foundation has raised over $50,000 in the last two years on just a dream and a promise of a new building. Now it’s time to show the community that this dream is becoming a reality and introduce them to the plans that have been so carefully curated.”