The Carnegie Library Corporation of Corbin has exceeded its $41,000 fundraising goal, which clears the biggest hurdle in its effort to restore the historic building on Roy Kidd Ave. – purchasing it.
Since the fundraising effort first began in May 2017, the non-profit organization has received more than 60 separate donations, from area individuals, businesses and organizations, totaling $53,570.23.
“Somebody made a hefty gift in December, which put us over the goal,” said Anne Hoskins, secretary/treasurer of the corporation.
Those who have donated include:
- Preservation Partner ($15,000 and over): The family of Dr. Harold and Nelda Barton
- Trustee Level ($10,000 – $14,999): Ossoli Foundation
- Benefactor Level $5,000 – $9,999): Corbin Lions Club
- Founder Level ($2,500 – $4,999: Patricia Browning
- Curator Level ($1,000 – $2,499): Anne K. Hoskins, Danny and Brenda C. Jones, Dr. Hank Everman, Diane and Wendal Mitchell, Anna Cummins Smith, Dave and Pat Huff, Whitaker Bank, Drs. Usha and Jagdish Patil, Jeff, Debbie and Lauren Tipton, Terry and Marion Forcht, Peggy Bruce Smith, Bill and Ann Hacker, A Friend, Dallas R. and Peggy Eubanks, Hometown Bank
- Patron Level ($500 – $999): Dr. and Mrs. J.M. Watts, L&N Federal Credit Union
- Researcher Level ($250 – $499): Dr. Don and Joan Barton, Gary and Ruth Anne Combs, Norma Crawford, Tom and Donna Davis, Don and Olivia Robinson, Mr. and Mrs. Steve Surmont, Linda Tate, Drs. Brent and Terri Chumbley, Earl and Mary Pennington
- Explorer Level ($100 – $249): Glennis Hensley (in honor of J.B. Johnson), Dolores F. McCaslin, Jeff and Lee Parks, Wendell and Phyllis Miller, JoAnn Burton, Glennis Hensley, Ronald and Lisa Herd, Danny and Linda Norvell, Patricia Nies, Mr. and Mrs. Bob Mitchell, Frances Gilliam, Dr. and Mrs. James Manning, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Tye, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hall, Marr, Miller and Myers, Mike and Haley Huff (Rex), Jamie and Melinda Norvell, Corbin Garden Club, Clyde and Carcille C. Burchette, Janice Hamlin, Joyce Tipton, Elizabeth Weedman (in memory of Kenneth Weedman), Bob and Phyllis Terrell, Corbin Flower Shop, Larry and Gay Nell Conley, Maxine and Eldred Von Gruenigan
- Donor Level: J.B. Johnson, David Ray Farmer, Nancy Daniel, Jenny Watkins, David O. Smith
However, while that will allow the corporation to aquire the building, the members are seeking additional donation to cover monthly expenses such as utilities and insurance.
“We feel like we can’t buy the building until we can take care of the expenses,” Hoskins said.
When the corportation was established in 2017, it was done so with a plan to renovate the 102-year-old former library to be used as a local meeting place, home for historical archives, and to offer educational and artistic programs.
Hoskins said the purchase of the building would help with that in another way as it would allow the corporation to begin applying for grant money to fund the renovation.
“We have a lot of plans,” said Diane Mitchell, a member of the corporation. “It is getting the provisions that we need.”
Leading the effort on procuring the grants is University of the Cumberlands student Olivia O’Malley.
Hoskins said in addition to the grants, O’Malley will be working on the restoration planning for the building, which is expected to be a three-year project.
The building, constructed in 1916, was one of more than 2,500 libraries constructed between 1883 and 1929 with money donated by businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.
Carnegie required local elected officials to:
- demonstrate the need for a public library;
- provide the building site;
- pay staff and maintain the library;
- draw from public funds to run the library—not use only private donations;
- annually provide ten percent of the cost of the library’s construction to support its operation; and,
- provide free service to all.
Corporation officials said previously that surveys indicate there is no asbestos in the building. However, there is lead paint that must be dealt with.
The original circulation desk, which dominated the entryway had been removed at some point. However, within the last year, it was discovered in the garage of a home on Engineeer Street and has since been returned to the library.
Other fixtures including several of the original bookshelves and the portrait of Andrew Carnegie, havedisappeared.
“If anyone knows what happened to them, we would love to have them back,” said Brenda Jones, President of the corporation.
The corporation is scheduled to meet at the Corbin Public Library on April 5. The meeting is open to the public.
Donations may be mailed to:
Carnegie Center of Corbin
P.O. Box 114
Corbin, KY 40702
All donations are tax-deductible.