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Elijah Scarber, 5, fires a balloon arrow at his father, Charley, Sunday afternoon at the open house of the Harrison County Public Library’s Lanesville branch. Photos by Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor (click for larger version)

First library branch opens


November 18, 2009 | 08:39 AM

The public got its first look at the Harrison County Public Library's branch location in Lanesville Sunday afternoon during an open house. The facility opened for business Monday.

"This is a whole new adventure for us," said Vi Eckart, who has been the library's director since early 1984. "It's been a real team effort."

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Dr. Stanely Seipel, right, talks with Gordon Pendleton about his medical practice that was located in the building that is now the library. (click for larger version)
While the site has capacity for 15,000 books, Eckart said there are currently about half that number on the shelves.

In addition to books, patrons will find a selection of newspapers and magazines, movies and eight computers with high-speed Internet connections.

An area designed for teenagers also has a computer but it is not capable for Internet use because its location makes it hard to monitor what is being viewed online, Eckart said.

All of the computers are hooked to the copier, which has a job-release station.

Large, fabric-covered chairs in both the adult and teen areas have built-in swivel pads to be used for laptop computers or as writing desks. Sharon Timberlake noticed that at least one pad was designed for left-handed people.

The children's area has two computers available for educational games. Eight-year-old T.J. Smith, who attended the open house with his grandmother, Linda Smith of Lanesville, tried his hand at some of the games.

Outdoor seating is available, including concrete benches near the library's entrance and on the facility's south side, as well as on a deck off the rear of the library furnished with wicker chairs and a table with an umbrella.

Eckart said a courier service will be available during normal business hours for patrons wishing to have materials housed at the Corydon location.

Nancy Rosenbaum is the lead circulation associate at the Lanesville branch. Her staff members are Pat Schwartz, Carrie Gerdon, Carolyn Wiseman and David Thompson.

Opening a satellite branch of the library was part of a 10-year plan adopted in 1999, about the time the Corydon Public Library became a countywide facility.

The property for the Lanesville facility was purchased in June 2007 from the Floyd Memorial Hospital Foundation. Before the FMHF acquired the property, it was owned by Dr. Stanley Seipel and was used as his medical office for many years.

Seipel, his wife, JoAnn, and daughter, Ruth, checked out the remodeled building that was also added on to with the design by Michell Timperman Ritz architects. (James L. Shireman Inc. was the construction firm, and DC Engineering Services LLC was the consulting engineer.)

Dr. Seipel told some of those in attendance why there are narrow windows in the teen area. To prevent someone from breaking into the area where medication was stored, he said they installed windows that were not large enough for his daughter, who had a small frame, to pass through.

"It's incredible," Carolyn Voelker said of the facility.

She attended the open house with Nola Glotzbach, and the two women recalled where certain areas of the old doctor's office were located.

Members of the Friends of Harrison County Public Library served cake and lemonade and water in the community room, which includes a small kitchen. The room can be closed off from the rest of the library and be used for other events.

Denzil McKim, who serves on the Lanesville Community School Corp. Board of Trustees, called the facility a welcome addition to the community.

Also on hand were the library's board of trustees. They are Dr. Leonard C. Waite, president; Dr. Sharon S. Uhl, vice president; Christine Pendleton, secretary; Thomas R. Tucker, treasurer; and Viola Behr, Linda Zabel and Jon Howerton, members at large.

Eckart said Harrison County Public Library cards are accepted at the Lanesville site, as well as the Corydon location. And they'll be good in Palmyra when that branch opens early next year.

The next area scheduled to have a library satellite is Elizabeth.

A reciprocal agreement between Harrison and Floyd counties libraries is in the works. Eckart said she hopes the agreement will be finalized by the end of the year, allowing those with a valid Harrison County Public Library card free use of the New Albany library.

The Lanesville library branch will be open Monday through Thursday from 2 to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Its phone number is 952-3759.

  1. print email
    November 18, 2009 | 09:37 AM

    Wonderful addition to a wonderful community!

  2. print email
    November 18, 2009 | 09:44 AM

    Excellent coverage by this newspaper, as usual.

  3. print email
    November 18, 2009 | 10:52 AM

    Yes, such excellent newspaper coverage that they don't even mention the location. So unless you used to doctor with Dr. Seipel, you have absolutely no idea where it is. Branches are nice, but I think it is too bad they don't have any librarians on the payroll.

  4. print email
    November 18, 2009 | 11:31 AM

    "don't even mention the location"

    Heaven forbid you'd actually have to search for something yourself: 952-3759. Give them a call. I'm sure they'd love to talk to you. If that's too much trouble, I'll give you an address, which I Googled. Since you know how to vomit on a keyboard, then hit enter, you should know how to Google, too. It's at 7340 Pennington St., sunny Lanesville, Indiana. You know how to get there, right?

    Do people tell you to breathe in and out, too???????

    UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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