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New Taylor County Public Library won't open until February

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By Calen McKinney

The new Taylor County Public Library won't be opening its doors until February.

At last Monday's regular meeting of the library's Board, representatives from Blevins Construction Co., the company overseeing the project that will turn the former Gabehart Lumber Building on East Broadway into the new Taylor County Public Library, said the project is on budget, though there have been some costs incurred that weren't budgeted.

Some demolition will have to done on site, which will cost less than $6,000, and the cost for paving and concrete will total about $85,000.

The project is estimated at costing about $1 million.

The library is expected to receive its certificate of occupancy for its new building on Feb. 4, depending on upcoming winter weather, and would open around that date.

Pieter De Grez, vice president of Blevins Construction Co., said work on the building is going well, with lights, duct work and registers installed. He said Kentucky Utility officials will soon connect the building and turn on heat. Tile work will be completed shortly after.

Also at the Meeting:

• In her report to the Board, Taylor County Public Library Director Julia Turpin said circulation increased in November, with video rentals accounting for nearly 18 percent, which is up from 5 percent when compared to last year's numbers.

Turpin said total transactions at the library increased last month. Computer use decreased, she said, likely because the library was closed for a few days for the Thanksgiving holiday.

She said the library is still researching the purchase of e-books to be used only by Taylor County patrons. A Gadget Day will be hosted in January to allow library staff to teach patrons about e-books and other technology.

Turpin said the library is participating in the Cell Phones for Soldiers Inc. program to collect used cell phones. The phones will be sold and deployed soldiers will be given talk time on calling cards. Phones can be left at the library.

• Final reading was given to updated library bylaws.

• The treasurer's report was approved. According to the report, the library's accounts total to about $1.2 million, of which about $220,000 is a construction account.

• In her report to the Board, Outreach Librarian Bonnie Webster said she read to nearly 650 children in November and had several programs.

• In lieu of Christmas gifts, Turpin said books were purchased for the library in each of the five Board members' honor. All Board members attended the meeting.

• The Board will next meet Monday, Jan. 14, at noon at the library. The meeting is open to the public.