At Monday’s city council meeting, Mayor Bobby Tullis disclosed to council members that he had been approached by librarian of the Mineral Springs branch of the Howard County Library system, Cheryl Burcham, about the cramped quarters of their current location in the easternmost room of city hall.
The city library has seen almost a doubling of patronage in the past year or so, according to library records, and has added a sufficient number of volumes to accommodate the larger number of patrons that most shelves in the library are “double stacked” with books shelved in front of other books.
Tullis stated in the meeting that the current location is only about 400 square feet, and that the rail depot, located across the street from the city hall, has around 600 square feet of available space.
“It would allow them to operate, maybe expand, if the library moves there,” Tullis stated.
Council members received the recommendation with enthusiasm, and approved the proposal unanimously, but did not place a timetable on either having the library in the depot or out of the city hall.
Speaking after the meeting, Burcham stated that she was excited about the prospect of moving into the larger structure. “We’re waiting now to get approval from the library board and maybe the quorum court,” she said, adding, “As soon as that happens, I’ll have several volunteers to cart books across the street.”
Burcham estimated that once approved, the move could be accomplished without even interrupting the library’s normal operating hours.
Tullis did say that there was one item for the proposed move that the city could not handle: internet access. Though the building has recently been electrically rewired, there are no communication cables run to the building, he reported. The county would have to arrange that service, but he estimated that it would not be a problem.
“We’re only two blocks away from the telephone company there, after all,” he said.