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New branch worth checking out

Since the formation of a Public Law Library in Corydon on Nov. 10, 1820, many people have worked to expand services offered and improve library facilities here in Harrison County.
‘Brief Highlights of the Library Movement in Harrison County (1820-2006),’ written by Charles R. Eckart, tells the story from that date more than 189 years ago, when Corydon became the site of the first state library in Indiana to the construction of the Carnegie building that today houses genealogy and local history to the renovation of an old bank building into a modern-day library, complete with computers with T-1 lines to provide high-speed Internet.
It wasn’t always easy to have a building for housing books, as evident from reading Eckart’s paper. Books were loaned from several sites throughout the library’s history until the Carnegie building was finished on Dec. 22, 1914, at the cost of $8,726.93.
There was the mess in early 1997, soon after the library board purchased the former Old Capital Bank building that was remodeled and now houses the children’s and adult collection of books. The unusual rainfalls that year left 42 inches of water in the Carnegie building and much less ‘ 6 inches but still damaging ‘ in the newly-acquired building.
But, as with every cause, those who believed in the importance of the library persevered.
In order to overcome the distinction of Harrison County being one of the worst served counties regarding library services, the board, in 1999, succeeded in having the Harrison County Board of Commissioners vote to make the facility a countywide library. The name was changed from Corydon Public Library to Harrison County Public Library to reflect this change, with the official address being 105 N. Capitol Ave. in Corydon.
Their labor of love is available for use to each county resident.
But they didn’t stop there. This dedicated group set a long-term goal 10 years ago that would make access to the library easier for residents who live outside the county seat. They desired to open satellite branches throughout the county.
That goal was achieved earlier this month when the first satellite branch, located at 7340 E. Pennington St. in Lanesville, opened Monday, Nov. 16. A second one will follow soon, after the first of the year, located off S.R. 135 south of Palmyra. Vi Eckart, who has been the librarian since the early 1980s, said a satellite site is planned for Elizabeth.
‘Public libraries are important not only because they extend and supplement the efforts of the state’s system of formal education, but also because they encourage children and young people to view reading and learning as enjoyable and worthwhile pursuits which need not end with formal education,’ Eckart wrote in his paper. ‘The ability of today’s young people to excel in tomorrow’s learning society is enhanced as a result of the encouragement they receive through the public library educational services.’
Our library’s board of trustees has provided another wonderful ‘ and beautiful ‘ facility, complete with high-speed Internet access, that can’t help but be a welcome beacon in our quest for knowledge or just reading for pleasure. At least two more sites will follow.
Check it out.