The former Medaryville library branch is expected to reopen to give residents access to computers, as well as the Pulaski County Public Library’s digital services. The Library Board voted Wednesday to enter into a facilities use agreement with Pulaski County Human Services. It will now be up to them to operate the facility.
The Pulaski County Public Library ended full services at the Medaryville branch January 1, and the building’s been closed since then. However, Library Board President Rick Mynark says the new deal will still give residents access to some services, “All e-services, computers will be available, access to the Internet through those computers. Any services that are electronically-based that are available at this library will also be available there, and under the facilities use agreement, the entity with whom we are entering into that agreement will provide the supervision and you might say the oversight for the utilization of that equipment.”
Library Executive Director MacKenzie Ledley said during the meeting that more and more people are accessing library materials digitally, with the number of downloads far surpassing circulations at the Medaryville branch. With some of the money being saved by closing the branch, the library is deciding to further enhance its e-services. The Library Board approved the addition of Hoopla, a digital service that includes books, movies, music, and comic books.
However, resident Susan Bergens once again expressed her concerns with end of full services at the library. She says she offered ideas to keep the library open, including volunteering to run it herself, but she says library officials didn’t address her proposals until the December meeting, leaving little possibility for further discussion.
Bergens and other residents have said the limited number of hours the library was open resulted in low usage, but Ledley has said the situation was reversed, with hours being reduced when library employees found themselves with little business to handle. It still remains to be seen how many hours a week the facility will be open in the future. That will be up to Pulaski County Human Services to decide once they take over.
Library Board President Rick Mynark says the facility should reopen in its new form as soon as the nonprofit gains access to the building and sets up the operation. At this point, though, no date has been set.