The push to protect and preserve Corbin’s old Carnegie Library has led to a fundraising effort that organizers are hoping picks up steam over the holidays and early next year.
Diane Mitchell, Secretary of the Carnegie Center of Corbin, Inc. board of directors said the group now has raised about $30,000 in donations to purchase the structure and property, located on Roy Kidd Ave. It is currently owned by First Baptist Church.
“We are getting ready to do a second mailing to people to encourage donations,” Mitchell said. “I think it’s a good time of year to talk about being thankful for what we have and taking care of it … and making the best of it for people.”
Corbin’s Carnegie Library was constructed in 1916.
The building also served as the home of WYGO radio station in the 1970s. First Baptist Church is currently using the basement of the building to house its food pantry.
The corporation’s goal is to restore the building so it may serve as a local meeting place for local groups and clubs, a community space, and home for historical archives, as well as a location to offer educational and artistic programs.
Mitchell said it would be best if the non-profit group could raise around $50,000 because the building will need some immediate work after it is purchased.
“You have to get insurance and put lights and heat in and all that,” she said. “It will take a little more than just the purchase price of the property.”
Mitchell said the church is willing to sell the old library for $41,000.
The Carnegie Center of Corbin, Inc. plans to apply for grants to renovate the building, but can’t do so until it actually owns the structure. All donations made to the group are tax deductible.
The “free public library” movement took off in America when industrialist Andrew Carnegie decided to put his considerable wealth behind the effort. He helped fund 2,500 public libraries in 10 different countries between 1883 and 1919.
His libraries are considered architectural gems.
Mitchell said once the library is purchased, there would be other fundraising efforts to help with further improvements.
More information about the organization and how to donate is available online at www.carnegiecenterofcorbin.org. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sponsorship levels for donations are as follows: Explorer level $100 to $249; Research level $250 to $499, Patron level $500 to $999; Curator level $1,000 to $2,499;
Founder level $2,500 to $4,999; Benefactor level $5,000 to $9,999; Trustee level $10,000 to $14,999; Preservation Partner $15,000 and over.
The Carnegie Center of Corbin recently released its list of donors. It includes:
EXPLORER LEVEL: Glennis Hensley in honor of J.B. Johnson, Delores F. McCaslin, Jeff and Lee Parks, Wendell and Phyllis Miller, Jo Ann Burton, Glennis Hensley, Ronald and Lisa Herd, Danny and Linda Norvell, Patricia Nies, Nancy Mitchell, Frances Gilliam, Dr. and Mrs. James Manning, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Tye, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hall, Marr, Miller and Myers; Mike and Halley Huff (Rex), James D. Norvell, Jr., Corbin Garden Club, Carcille Burchette, Janice Hamlin.
RESEARCHER LEVEL: Dr. and Mrs. Donald C. Burton, Gary W. Combs D.M.D., Norma Crawford, Tom and Donna Davis, Don and Olivia Robinson.
PATRON LEVEL: Dr. and Mrs. J.M. Watts.
CURATOR LEVEL: Anne K. Hoskins, Danny and Brenda C. Jones, Dr. Hank Everman, Linda and Heath 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.
BENEFACTOR LEVEL: Corbin Lions Club.
TRUSTEE LEVEL: Ossoli Foundation.