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Circulation rise sparks library expansion plan

February 12, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

BOLIVAR, W.Va. - Sparked by an annual circulation increase of nearly 4,000 items in the last 10 years, plans are in the works to more than double the size of the Bolivar-Harpers Ferry Public Library, library officials said Tuesday.

As the area grows in population, library officials are noticing more people coming to the library from outlying areas of the county to obtain library services, said library Director Nancy Manuel.

Not only are patrons coming to check out books and bringing their children to reading programs, but they are using new computers that were recently installed at the library at 600 Polk St., Manuel said.

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In the 1992-93 year, 17,286 books and other items were checked out of the library and by last year that number had grown to 21,255 items, Manuel said.

Expecting continued growth in the area, library officials have embarked on an expansion project that will add more than 2,600 square feet to the library, which currently has about 2,100 square feet of space, according to David Simmons, member of the library's board of trustees.

Library officials were expected to unveil the plans for the expansion during a meeting at the library Tuesday night.

The expansion will extend from the rear of the building and will provide more space for children's programs, adult programs and staff working areas, Simmons said. The Jefferson County Board of Education recently donated about a third of an acre it owned nearby to the library for the expansion.

The expansion is expected to cost between $400,000 and $500,000. About $318,000 has been raised, Simmons said.

The $318,000 includes a large donation that was made by local resident Peggy Dye, Simmons said.

Library officials are looking for other sources for funding, including asking the Jefferson County Commission, Simmons said.

The board of trustees say they could begin construction once they raise about $400,000, he said.

Construction could start by early summer and will take about 4-6 weeks to complete, Simmons said.

The Bolivar-Harpers Ferry Library was built in about 1977 by the West Virginia Library Commission and has a unique octagon shape at the front of the building. Jefferson County's other libraries are in Summit Point, Shepherdstown and Charles Town.

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