Only a week on the job, and the new director of the Corbin Public Library was able to make a big announcement about the library’s future Tuesday.
The facility will be nearly doubling in size in the near future.
Julia Basil made the announcement during the Southern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s monthly membership luncheon Tuesday at The Corbin Center.
“There are needs in our community that we are struggling to keep up with. It is with that in mind that last month, the board purchased over 9,000 additional square feet of space in our adjoining building,” Basil told the crowd of about 75 gathered at the luncheon.
She said she hopes the first phase of the project will be complete within the next year. It will include an Internet café, additional parking, and expanded children’s area on the first floor, meeting rooms and a black box theater.
“We are already working on grants and other funding to offset the cost.”
Brenda Jones, President of the Corbin Public Library’s Board of Directors, said the board took possession of the adjoining property in late February. The board paid $100,000 for the building, which was owned Wholesale Plumbing Supply Company.
Basil lauded the library’s connection with the community and highlighted its impressive offering of programs and events, including things like quilting and crafting classes for adults and the summer reading program for children.
The library moved to its current location in 2010 and saw an almost immediate 35 percent increase in use by the community.
Basil said the library’s 45 computers and laptops were used for about 900 computing sessions a month. The facility’s Wi-Fi Internet access is used by about 1,400 unique devices monthly. Use statistics for the library put it in the top three in the state for libraries comparable in size.
Basil said the theme for the Summer Reading Program this year is going to be fitness. Yoga and karate classes will be offered. She added that the library is also planning to host a 5k race through town as a fundraiser to “help supplement the library’s needs.”
The Summer Reading Program is always wildly popular, causing a spike in use of the facility. Basil said the library had to double its children’s story times last year to accommodate interest.
“The people of Corbin make it abundantly clear that there is a huge need for educational recreation every summer,” she said.