Library expansion nears completion

MIDDLEBOURNE – After eight years of planning, the Middlebourne Library expansion is nearing its completion. According to librarian Roseanne Eastham, March 1 is the projected date for construction to wrap.

The expansion cost $351,000, $250,000 of that was awarded to the library by the Stealey Green Foundation. The foundation was created by deceased siblings of retired teacher Ruth Stealey Green and her brother Philip Stealey. It was Green’s desire when grant awards are made, special consideration be given to programs and projects to improve the quality of life of residents of Middlebourne, such as improved library, recreational, municipal and youth services.

Former local rockers The Secrets held a fundraising reunion concert on Aug. 6, 2011, and brought in nearly $10,000 toward the expansion project.

The rest of the money was earned through fundraising events, such as bake sales and raffles. Eastham said the library continues to do fundraising and raffling because it is still in need of furniture.

Some of the events include a brick fundraiser and furniture fundraiser. Citizens can purchase a brick for $2 and have their name featured on a plaque making them forever a part of the library. Similarly, donations will be accepted for furniture items and a plaque will be placed on the furniture to honor the donor. Additionally, the library will continue to feature donated items to raffle.

The new addition, which will be the main entrance, houses the adult non-fiction and fiction section, the computers, and connects to the existing building. The original building will be devoted to the children’s section.

“I hope the expansion of the library will provide more services to the patrons in the community,” said Eastham.

Including activities offered now, Eastham hopes to start a knitting group, study groups with middle and high school students and set up programs with Work Force.