The Pulaski County Council is hoping to bring economic development efforts into the mix to help the Medaryville branch of the Pulaski County Public Library.
The request was made Monday night by a few Council members. The County Council has been addressed by members of the public asking for them to intervene in the situation. The Medaryville library branch is planned to remain open, but only on a limited capacity with internet access and a modest book selection for area children.
Council member Roger Querry says he believed the decision was made without proper consideration.
“You’ve got children, young adults in that town and community that need to have a library available to them,” says Querry. “You can give me all the statistics about how many don’t use it, but as long as you have them available, there will be those that will.”
The matter stirred controversy after residents in Medaryville protested its closure. The library system cited a general lack of use by the community and reductions in revenue over the years.
Despite plans to work alongside another community organization to occupy the space, while maintaining a minimum level of services, the County Council was hoping to have the CDC involve itself. Besides offering development and management expertise, the organization may also be able to help with grant funds, or attracting additional investment to possibly continue operations.
CDC Executive Director Nathan Origer was certainly eager for more information about what it means to support the library, but said he’s ready to look into the matter.
“You know, if we were a stand along non-profit agency like some economic development offices are, we could speak out a little bit more, but it’s really hard to take a position without, by extension, putting the county government in an awkward position,” says Origer.
At least one CDC board member believes the organization should have fought harder to keep the branch open. No timeline has been addressed for assisting the matter.