Library to get new home

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 10, 2008

LINDEN &8212; After several months of discussion, Joyce Morgan has a firm decision on the next steps for her plans to expand the Marengo County Library. The County Commission voted Tuesday to appropriate three-fourths of a county building to her use.

The &8220;white house&8221; building as it is known, is approximately 4,400 square feet. The library has been approved for use of 3,300 square feet, with the remaining quarter of the building being temporarily occupied by the office for the Marengo County Economic Authority.

The current facilities are approximately 2,300 square feet, so the new building will provide at least 1,000 additional square feet to the library. Morgan said the library has been in the current spot for the last 30 years.

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The next step for Morgan is to heavily pursue grant opportunities, including applying for a Community Development Block Grant through the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission in August. Already, Morgan has secured $80,000 in incentive funds from the state.

The cost to renovate the building will rely heavily on how much money Morgan get for the project, she said. Although the commission has made a space commitment, there are no concrete financial commitments from them on the project.

But even without the full building, Morgan said she can make the space meet their needs, one of which is the growing use of technology. Most recently, Morgan said bikers on the Underground Railroad biking tour &8212; a group of cyclists traveling the 2,100 miles from Mobile to Ontario, Canada that marks the Underground Railroad from times of slavery &8212; stopped by the library to use their public access computers to blog about their travelers.

One goal Morgan has for the new building is to provide a meeting space for the community. She also hopes to partner with schools and Headstart programs in order to get more funding for the library and more programs for children.