Supporters eye library expansion

March 30, 2013

Supporters of the Hood County Library have received the blessing of the Commissioners Court to research expansion of the library’s increasingly cramped quarters.

In addition to the comfort of patrons and controlling the noise level, there is a matter of making sure that mandates by the State Library Association are met.

Library Director Courtney Kinkaid, as well as supporters Dominique Inge and Kevin Downing, addressed the Commissioners Court on Tuesday.

Inge told the elected officials that supporters want to form a committee to study the expansion issue and ways to fund the needed growth.

She said that the committee would meet throughout the summer and have a “very concrete proposal” to present to the Commissioners Court by the end of summer or early fall.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Dick Roan, who had requested that the discussion be placed on the Commissioners Court agenda, said that three groups are involved: The Library Advisory Board, which monitors the internal workings of the library and makes recommendations; the Library Foundation board, which conducts fundraising for scholarships and special projects; and Friends of the Library, which operates the used book store and has purchased shelves for the library.

The expansion would be in the back porch area, facing Shanley Park. The library is located on North Travis Street.

“We’d be taking it from about 18 feet out to 50 feet, building a section that is 35 by 50 (feet), or maybe even 50 by 60 (feet),” Roan said.

It is likely that the expanded area would be used for the children’s books section and for children’s activities, thus insulating adult library users from noise.

Part of the cost consideration, however, is a mandate by the city of Granbury for buildings that are over 10,000 square feet to have a sprinkler system. Parking, too, is an issue, but might be resolved – or at least helped – by angling the parking spaces, it was discussed.

Downing told commissioners that the expansion committee will consider “one thing at a time” with an eye toward the growing county’s “long-range” needs.

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