Library personnel and volunteers are hoping to raise money for an expansion of the Mulberry Public Library with room, brick and shelf sponsorships.
Crawford County Library System Board recently passed a naming rights policy for the library, allowing that bricks, shelves, rooms, and indeed, the entire library, could be named for sponsors who donate above a certain amount, said Crawford County Library System director Eva White.
Shelf sponsorships are $1,000, room sponsorships are $10,000, a sponsorship to name the expansion would be $25,000, and $100,000 to name the entire library. Brick sponsorships have not been determined.
At the Mulberry City Council’s November meeting, Mayor Gary Baxter said only council members can name a city building, but the library board could make recommendations to the council.
Once enough money is raised to build the expansion, a cost of about $390,000, said Vonna Steele, president of Friends of the Mulberry Library, the new wing will nearly double the library’s current 2,400-square-foot space.
Library officials are looking to add another 1,800 square feet to create a new children’s room with more space for programming, expand the current children’s room into a teen room with computer access and expand the meeting room, White said.
"They just don’t have enough space to do the programming they need to do," White said. "All the children’s programming has to be done out in the middle of the library because there are too many children to fit in that little room."
White said library officials are looking at other sources of funding as well, including grants.
In the meantime, Steele and other Friends of the Library continue to hold fundraisers, most recently taking orders for pies and poinsettias for the holidays.
Seven "island" vacation packages also have been donated and will be raffled off in the coming months, Steele said.
But fundraisers still have a long way to go. Only about $1,300 has been raised so far for the expansion, Steele said.
"We’re just in our first phase of really getting started," Steele said.
Steele hopes a great deal more money will be raised by the first of the year, she said.
Renderings of the planned library expansion can be found at the Mulberry Public Library. For raffle ticket information or to donate, contact the library at (479) 997-1226.