Book Bonanza

New Hanover Public Library
set to open in spring 2010

Services to include Internet
access, audio-video loans

By Konnie McCollum
Staff Writer

HANOVER, Ind. (January 2010) - In tough economic times, while many community services face budget shortfalls and a lack of support, libraries historically thrive. Jefferson County, Ind., is no exception to that phenomenon either, and the upcoming Hanover Jefferson County Public Library will be a welcome addition to the library system.

Hanover Jefferson County Public Library

Photo by Konnie McCollum

The Hanover Jefferson County
Public Library will offer the same
services as the Madison branch
of the library system.

“Community support for our library services has always been great,” said Kristi Harms, director of the Madison Jefferson County Public Library. “We are excited about the new Hanover library because we know there is a big need for it in the community.”
The new Hanover public library, located in the former Madison Bank and Trust building on Hwy. 56-62 at Madison Avenue, is scheduled to open on April 10. Library officials are planning a huge celebration for the grand opening.
“We are fortunate that we can afford to open a library at a time when other communities can’t,” said Harms. “We have the funds already scheduled into the regular budget, and there will be no need for additional taxes to operate it.”
The former bank was purchased from MainSource Bank for $75,000, just less than 20 percent of the appraised value, according to the library’s website. The Town of Hanover sponsored a $500,000 Community Focus Fund grant to help fund needed improvements to the building.
Bradshaw Building Specialties Inc., North Vernon, Ind., is the general contractor for the project, and work has been under way on the renovations since ground was broken on May 21. Prince-Alexander Partners Inc. of Indianapolis was the architect for the project.
When finished, the former bank building will become the adult reading room and magazine section. The former bank drive-through was demolished to make way for a new wing that will house the children’s section, and there will also be a drive through for book drop-offs and pickups.
“There are many residents of Hanover who don’t drive or are unable to get to the Madison library,” said Harms. “We plan to offer the same services at the new library that we offer at our Madison site.”
Those services include adult and children reading collections from the latest best-sellers to all-time classics, videos, music and audio books, magazines and newspapers, public computers and wireless Internet, children’s story hours and programming, Literacy and English-as-a-Second-Language tutoring, and more.
Harms said during economic hardships, people tend to use the library more to take advantage of the free services that are offered, including video rentals and internet access. “People have had to give up some of the extras, and have found they can have them for free at the library,” she said.
“Madison Jefferson County Public Library is part of the Evergreen Indiana interlibrary loan service, and the Hanover branch will be added to that as well,” said Harms.
That means library users can borrow materials in Jennings, Jackson and Switzerland counties and even return them in Jefferson County. Currently, there are more than 40 Indiana library systems where patrons can use Evergreen Indiana cards. More than 60 libraries intend to join.

• For more information about the Hanover Jefferson County Public Library, visit www.mjcpl.org.

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