From The Decatur Daily
by Cody Muzio
PRICEVILLE — A new home for the Priceville Public Library will pave the way for “all kinds” of new programs and services for residents, librarian Paula Hensley said.
Priceville Mayor Melvin Duran said the Town Council approved a $925,000 purchase of the Western Express trucking company building and surrounding land on South Bethel Road in November and “didn’t have a clue what to use it for.”
Then it hit him.
“We looked at it and realized it would be perfect for the library,” he said. “The library has really outgrown where it is.”
Duran said the new building is 7,500 square feet, more than triple the size of the current 2,000-square-foot library. Hensley said every inch will be utilized.
“We need more space,” she said. “Last year, in our summer reading program, we had to turn kids away because we just didn’t have room. I don’t want to do that.”
She estimated the library has 1,500 to 2,000 “active” cardholders who check out a book “at least every two weeks.”
Duran said the new building has a large open room in the center with smaller ones along the outside that can be used for kids’ rooms, offices or computer rooms.
He said state library system officials will tour the building Wednesday and make recommendations on remodeling, but he expects little will need to be done.
“I’d think we can do all the remodeling for around $20,000,” he said. He said the council plans to have the library completed and open by April.
Hensley said she’s already thinking of new community programs for the more spacious building.
“We will be able to expand our technology and have more computers or have classes there,” she said. “We could use some of those rooms for private tutoring sessions. And we’ve had several people call asking if we could do a job fair. I don’t have room for that, but I will in the new building.”
Duran said the town is serious about maintaining its library, even in a time when others are falling by the wayside, because it is a service of the town to its residents.
“The library is really an extension of education, which is always a priority.”