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Voters OK bond issue for library expansion



Published: Wed, May 9, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Officials plan to add 5,000 square feet to the building.

By NANCY TULLIS

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

COLUMBIANA -- Planning for a library addition means first deciding where the new structure will go, said library Director Carol Cobbs.

Columbiana Public Library officials are dusting off their shovels and celebrating passage Tuesday of a $1 million bond issue for library expansion.

"Celebrate," Cobbs said when asked what library officials would do next. "Then we evaluate our plans and hire an architect. We have to decide where we're going to build."

Library officials plan to construct a 5,000-square-foot addition to the 10-year-old library at 332 N. Middle St.

Cobbs said the library board is negotiating to buy land on the north side of the building, where a one-story addition would be built. The building could also expand to the east, on property the library owns. The latter plan, however, would require more interior renovation, she said. The library has money to buy the land; the bond issue will fund construction of the addition, she said.

If the addition is added on the west side of the building, the board would use the library's own funds for renovations, she said.

"We are very pleased," Cobbs said. "Everyone coming into the library had a little different reaction, so we didn't know what to expect."

Increased use: Cobbs said the addition is needed because there is no more room. She said the library has patrons who use wheelchairs and if more shelves were added, their maneuvering space would be reduced.

"Now we can breathe a little and get ready to go," said Richard Zitto, chairman of the library board.

Cobbs said more than 350 people visit the library daily, and since the library was built, computers have replaced card catalogs, the library's collection increased 50 percent, its circulation increased 70 percent, and patrons doubled. Circulation in 2000 was about 174,000, and so far this year is about 70,000, she said.

tullis@vindy.com




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