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Library checks out expansion into Palmyra, Lanesville

In a case of when ‘ not if ‘ the Harrison County Public Library will branch out to residents in the northern and eastern parts of the county, the answer is at the earliest by the fall of this year.
Property for the project has already been purchased in the towns of Lanesville and Palmyra, using taxpayer dollars. Currently, the library is in the midst of trying to formalize design plans.
‘There are just so many steps still to make,’ said library director Vi Eckart. ‘We’ve got the sites, now we have to come up with building plans, come up with the drawings, everything has to go to the state to get approved, then we have to advertise for bids. It’s a lengthy process just to break ground.’
The new library branch in Lanesville will be at 7340 Pennington St., at the site of the former Dr. Seipel office. Eckart said in addition to renovating the property, they likely will add on to the building.
In Palmyra, the library has purchased a former home-turned floral business at 13685 Greene St.
‘We’re looking at the best options for that property. We don’t know if we’re going to add on to it or what. A new sewer hook-up line is going to run through the front of the property, then we have to figure on the best way to make a parking lot fit,’ Eckart said. ‘There’s a lot of studying that’s going to have to be done.’
The satellite sites will be linked to the main branch in downtown Corydon via telecommunication services and should have a good core collection of books and DVDs, Eckart said.
‘But then if there are things we don’t have at those locations, hopefully we can supplement them with things we have at the main branch using a delivery service,’ she added.
The reason for the expansion, Eckart said, is because taxpayers throughout the county help fund the library and they deserve to have better access to the library.
‘We have an obligation to do outreach. We based our decision to move into Lanesville and Palmyra because, based on statistical information that we’ve gathered over the past several years, those areas record more traffic in regards to usage, books checked out, reading programs for children and things like that,’ Eckart said. ‘I’ve been here 25 years, and it seems we’re in an expansion phase almost every year. We keep growing and moving, and that’s a good problem to have. I can see where in another five years or so we’ll probably have to expand our downtown location, and it feels like we just moved here.
‘We’re here to serve the community, and we always have to keep our eyes and ears open and be ready to grow with new technology and offer various forms of access to people,’ she said.
Eckart said the library is still looking at the possibility of having library services in place after renovation work is completed at the South Harrison Community Development Center in Elizabeth.
Formerly known as the Corydon Public Library, the facility assumed a new name in 1998 after receiving public support to become a countywide, free public library. All residents of Harrison County with valid identification are entitled to a free library card.
The library first opened in December 1914 at 117 W. Beaver St. in downtown Corydon. The structure, one of the original Carnegie libraries, now serves as the Frederick Porter Griffin Center for Local History and Genealogy.