Editorial: Seymour library supporters seek expansion

Sep. 17, 2013 @ 11:59 PM

The Friends of Seymour Library were scheduled to meet with Sevier County Public Library officials last night at the Seymour branch to discuss possible expansion plans in the future.

The group seems warranted in its desire for a new or expanded building, even though the currently location opened for business just nine years ago.

A quick visit to a scheduled activity at the branch makes it obvious that space is running short in the burgeoning community’s 3,500-square foot building.

The SCPLS board approved a long-range plan in 2009 to expand the Seymour branch, according to the library system’s history on its website, but to date no concrete plans have been announced.

“We have a community that wants and needs a larger library,” Colleen Shannon, president of library support group, told The Mountain Press last week.

SCPLS Director Rhonda 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.”

Even with a completed survey, Tippitt said it will take time for any change to come.

“It really is just in the beginning stages with both of the community libraries” she said, referring in addition to the Kodak branch. “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.”

Like other library projects in the county, funds will have to be raised to make building or expansion feasible, as the county won’t foot the bill alone.

No matter what, the people of Seymour deserve quality facilities. Should funding sources be found in the future, an expansion or building program certainly seems a worthwhile venture.