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Library circulation expected to be low in February

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By Calen McKinney

Library officials say they believe Taylor County's new public library is going to have more people reading.

"I think we can expect a lot of foot traffic," Taylor County Public Library Director Julia Turpin told Board members during their regular monthly meeting last Monday.

In her monthly report to the Board, Turpin said circulation figures for January were up 45 percent when compared to January 2012, despite the library only being open two weeks last month.

That could be because many patrons checked out the maximum number of 25 books each to prepare for the library being closed to move, according to Turpin.

She said fiction and nonfiction circulation was up 34 percent. When compared to December's figures, overall circulation was down about 1 percent.

Turpin said the library continues to have programs for children and adults, and overall, those seem to be well attended.

Board President John Miller said February will likely be the hardest hit month when it comes to circulation, since the library hasn't yet been open this month, and an opening date for the new building hasn't been finalized.

He said the new library will be much more handicapped accessible, so the Board will have to wait and see how that impacts circulation.

Turpin said she believes circulation will increase, since the library will be much more accessible to all types of people.

And with its new location near Taylor County and Campbellsville schools, students will be able to continue coming to the library for field trips.

Turpin said the library's e-books system will likely increase patron usage, too, since the library will soon have its own e-collection. This will mean patrons won't have to wait along with those from other libraries to access e-books.

Board member Michele Dickens said she believes the new parking lot - which will offer many more parking spaces than at the current library building - will allow many more patrons to use the library at once.

Turpin said a leadership class at Campbellsville University has asked to oversee a teen outreach program and host four events, beginning the end of next month or the beginning of April.

She said the events will offer something for those of varying interests and be in place just before the start of the summer reading program.

Turpin said CU will be the first group to have an art exhibit at the new library building, which is expected to open soon.

Outreach Librarian Bonnie Webster thanked the Board for their work to prepare for the new library, which she says has been a long time coming.

"We've waited a lot of years for this," she said.

Eddie Hazelwood, who serves as the Board's vice president, did not attend the meeting.

Building Update

Pieter De Grez, vice president of Blevins Construction Co., the company charged with managing the project that will turn the former Gabehart Lumber Co. building on East Broadway into the new library, says inside construction is complete.

Only a few minor tasks remain, he said, along with work to the parking lot and outside landscaping.

"Construction wise, we're done on the inside of the building," he said.

De Grez said all building inspections have gone well, from plumbing to electrical to the HVAC system.

Sidewalks were expected to be complete last week and work on the parking lot will continue this week.

Miller said it is nice to see a building that was becoming run down become a nice place for public use.

Library employees have been given a temporary certificate of occupancy, De Grez said, so this has allows them to come inside and begin setting up equipment.

Staff members and volunteers began the move last week and continued into the weekend. Watch for more about the move in upcoming issues.

Also at the Meeting:

• The Board voted to work with Swafford Signs to install a sign on the new library building, as well as one on a pole near Broadway. Three bids were received.

Board members agreed to use white metal lettering on the building and have the pole on which the sign will be hung sanded and painted.

• A special meeting was set for Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. for Turpin's annual evaluation. She said she has completed a self-evaluation and gave Board members a form to complete for discussion during the special meeting. The meeting will be at the current library building and is open to the public.

• In her monthly report, Webster said she read to four daycares, 33 classes at local schools, had 40 outreach programs and read to 506 children in January.

• The Board's next regular meeting will be Monday, March 11, at noon at the new building on East Broadway. It is open to the public.