Cold, rainy weather did not stop residents of Mulberry from coming out to celebrate a new addition to their community on Nov. 18, 2018.
During the grand opening of the Ralph D. Graf Library on Sunday, Mulberry Mayor Gary Baxter said construction for the expansion project, which doubled the square footage of the library from about 2,000 to about 4,000, was completed at the end of October.
Crawford County Library System Director Eva White said the main part of the expansion project was the addition of a children’s space. The project also made the two smaller rooms at the front of the building, the conference and teen rooms, about twice as large as they were before.
“We had no place to do any programming except right out here in the middle of the library,” White said. “The two little rooms were too small for anybody to get in there except just a few people, so for years they have made due, and it just came to the point that we needed to do this expansion so we could offer services that we could not offer without an expansion project.”
White said for the library expansion, the Crawford County Library System contributed the furnishings and the shelving on the inside of the building. It also furnished the staffing. Baxter said the architect for the project was MAHG Architecture, and the contractor was Crawford Construction Co.
The Mulberry Public Library was renamed the Ralph D. Graf Library of Mulberry after the late father of Paul Graf and Donna Moore, who, with their respective spouses, donated $100,000 for the expansion.
The Crawford County Library Board approved the new name during its meeting in November 2017.