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The Wellman-Scofield Public Library is gearing up to begin fundraising for an expansion and renovation project.
Library Director Carol Wilkins reported to the City Council Monday that the library will begin fundraising efforts on the $484,000 project in October.
“We are currently at capacity for books and materials,” Wilkins said. “When something new comes in, I have to take something off the shelves.”
The expansion would create a large program area, as well as increasing shelf space for books and other materials.
The program area would be expanded to 787 square feet and could accommodate up to 100 people.
Wilkins added that all the construction would be inside the building.
She touted the advances that the library has made in recent years, including a revitalized summer reading program.
“This year, we had 170 children for the summer reading program,” Wilkins said, pointing out that the previous average was 100 children with only about 60 actively participating.
She also noted that five years ago, the library’s web-site was not being maintained, and that the state library association was considering having it taken down.
“Now we are active on our site, plus Facebook and a blog that we post to several times a week,” she said.
The library is planning to host an open house at 4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 7 as a kickoff for fundraising.
Wilkins explained that she plans to seek grants from the Washington County Riverboat Foundation, Enhance Iowa and other sources.
“We do have to have some money on hand before we can apply for the grants,” she said.
She hopes to have all the funds raised in one year. She estimated that construction would last about six months, during which, the library would have to find a temporary location to keep operating.
“We would like to do that during the winter because it tends to be slower,” she said.