Planning begins for Seymour library expansion

Sep. 14, 2013 @ 11:21 PM

The director of the Sevier County Library System will be at the Seymour Public Library Tuesday to talk to residents about plans for the facility, which residents say is in need of an expansion.

The system has long-range plans for growth at Seymour and Kodak’s libraries, and it recently built the new King Family Library. Seymour’s Friends of the Library has invited Tippitt to talk about the goal of expanding the library as the system begins working on those plans.

“We have a community that wants and needs a larger library,” said Colleen Shannon, president of Seymour Friends of the Library.

The meeting, which is open to the public, is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the library. The organization has invited county commissioners from the area to attend.

Tippitt acknowledged she’s heard about the issues raised by the group, including a desire for more materials and more space. She said a new survey being circulated by the library system will help document that need.

“A lot of people have said to us we’d like more space, we’d like more materials, we’d like room for more materials. It’s not enough to tell us. When you want to build a new building you have to document that need, so we’ve started a new survey that will last until the end of the year.”

Planners will use the survey to create a more detailed outline of what people in the community would expect out of an expanded library, and to start estimating the space needs and potential cost.

And once that is complete, they will need to start raising some funds of their own in the community. The county isn’t likely to build a new library using solely its own money; they’ll need to reach a fundraising goal to get the expansion they hope to see.

Tippitt said the process is likely to take years to complete.

“It really is just in the beginning stages with both of the community libraries” she said. “We anticipate at a minimum four to five years before we can even ask for them to start construction. It’s a long way away.”

jfarrell@themountainpress.com