Friday, July 24, 2015

TOP STORY >> Library in Cabot prepares to open

Leader staff writer

The books are on the shelves, and the lights are on as anticipation grows for the new $2.6 million Cabot Public Library to open in mid-August.

Cabot Public Library branch manager Tammie Evans said it only took a day and a half to move the collection from the Arlene Cherry Memorial Library on North Grant Street to the 4,000-square-foot library at the old Knight’s grocery store building, 909 W. Main St.

Walmart employees volunteered on Monday to help with the move. The company provided an 18-wheeler and a driver to transport 70,000 items to the new facility.

“The move happened a lot quicker than we expected,” Evans said.

She said work on opening the library had been going well. The library staff was able to take a breath after the move.

“We are making sure everything is in its proper place. The computer system is on and working. We are cleaning, getting everything prepped for the opening. Lots of progress is happening with the building.

“Hopefully, the parking lot will be finished soon,” Evans said.

The library was scheduled to open in June and now it will be sometime in August.

The new facility is part of the bond reissue Cabot voters approved in 2013, when residents extended a one-cent city sales tax. The city owns the building and land.

The Lonoke/Prairie County Regional Library System is providing the reading materials, new furniture, shelving and computers.

“We are anticipating the opening and adding to the collection, providing more programs with larger participation and holding educational classes,” Evans continued.

She said, “We had a lot of people trying to call and email, asking when the library will be open.”

When asked for a definite day, Evans shrugged and said no date had been set.

She said it had been a domino effect of delays. The rains of April and May pushed back the paving of the parking lot.

Delays in electrical work pushed back the delivery of furniture and shelving, which pushed back laying the flooring.

Work on the landscaping and the outdoor green spaces will began when construction crews move their office trailers and equipment off the property.

“We ask patrons to bear with us. When the Arlene Cherry library closed earlier this month, patrons were limited to checking out 10 items. Materials can be returned at their convenience at the old library drop box. Any fines for overdue materials while the Cabot library is closed will be waived if they are not turned in on time,” Evans said.

A grand opening of the library will be held in October. Evans said several local restaurants are participating with lots of free food and giveaways.