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Besore Library kicks off campaign for renovation

July 20, 2010|By DANA BROWN

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - The Lilian S. Besore Memorial Library in Greencastle has kicked off a capital campaign for a proposed $1.2 million renovation and expansion project.

The proposed project will help make the facility "future ready," library association president Kay Witmer said.

"It's really a necessity," Witmer said. "We've worked hard to come up with a plan that will give us what we need for the future."

Plans for improvements to the existing structure include updating the heating and air conditioning systems, upgrading existing windows and lighting and improving the electrical system in an effort to increase energy efficiency and decrease utility costs, Witmer said.

The proposed design also involves expanding the current structure to include a new lobby with an elevator and additional handicapped-accessible restrooms to bring the library into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The two-story addition includes an expanded children's program area on the main floor and a community room with a kitchenette. The community room will also have a separate entrance, allowing it to be used when the library is closed. The expansion also includes a redesigned space for computers and a teen study area and expansion to the current parking lot.

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Founded in 1963 with money from a $200,000 trust fund established by Calvin S. Besore to honor his mother, Lilian, the Besore Library receives no support from taxes, Witmer said. The trust fund provides "just enough" to maintain the building, she said. While Franklin County Library Services does provide support services for the library, it does not pay for building maintenance, she said.

Witmer said the association is looking at applying for grants for the expansion and renovation project, but she added that funding for the capital campaign will have to come primarily from donations from individuals, civic groups and businesses.

"It's really going to take the community coming together to make this successful," Witmer said.

The association hopes to raise the $1.2 million in order to start the project by 2012, or before, Witmer said.

"We would love to start as soon as we possibly can," she said. "But we need the pledges in hand before we begin."

Besore Library Director Laura Greenlee said the renovation and expansion project will address several much-needed updates that will improve the environment of the library for all patrons.

"We try to make it very welcoming to everyone," Greenlee said. "The library is the great equalizer. All can participate, even in times like these."

Greenlee said the library has seen a recent upswing in circulation, increased interest and participation in children's programs as well as overall use of the library's services including a sharp increase in computer services.

"Library's stay important," Witmer said.

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