Thursday, February 11, 2021

Manning Public Library Set to Expand

Many changes are in the works for Manning's Public Library which will likely excite library patrons. Lack of space has hampered the 3,000 square foot facility for many years. A decision to move the library to the 10,000 square foot building roughly two blocks north to 123 Main Street was recently announced. The library board is currently working to determine the use and configuration of the facility.

 

Library Director, Linda Muhlbauer is looking forward to the larger space, stating, “I am most excited about the children's area because it is going to be significantly larger than what we currently have. We are going to encourage family literacy which has been a goal of ours. We want to see patients, grandparents, or caregivers spend time with their children in the library. Right now, we have a get in, get out library. Children grab books and leave. There is not a lot of space for them to sit on their parents' lap and enjoy books. You could say we are very efficient, but we are not what you would call a community space like other libraries.” the new slogan will be A Space to Grow.

 

The new building will provide six community rooms opposed to the current two rooms which are used on an average of 264 times per year. The new building contains two meeting rooms, a six-person room and an eight-person room. There are two offices; one will be for library business and the other will be open to the public for proctoring, studying, and researching.

Some additional benefits of the move include:

  • Added parking
  • All lighting will be replaced with LED high-efficiency lighting
  • Computers for public use will increase from four to seven and will be placed throughout the library.
  • Book inventory will increase from 12,000 to 19,000. 

At the January Manning City Council meeting, the council voted to assist with the transition by investing $150,000 from local option sales tax to help enable purchase of the building from the Manning Betterment group. The $500,000 project is 75 percent funded at this point and active fundraising is just in the beginning stages. The board is grateful for a significant donation which kick-started the campaign and made the initial purchase possible. Anyone interested in contributing to the library should contact Muhlbauer by phone or by email at library@manningia.com or by phone at 712-655-2260. 

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