Lewisburg library plans to grow in the next three years

Friday, February 27, 2015

By Ivory Riner

Staff Writer

Jennifer Pearson, new director of the Marshall County Library, visited the Community Development Board's monthly meeting Tuesday to introduce herself and talk about short- and long-term plans for the library.

She announced that she wants to expand the library to meet all the needs of the community.

With her plans to either rebuild or add on to the existing 41-year-old building, she wants to first create a business proposition detailing the needs of the library and go from there.

"What I know about public libraries is that there is a gap. You have younger kids whose parents take them every other day, but as they get older they stop coming in," said Pearson.

In addition, Pearson said the library will remain in the center of the community and continue to be accessible for everyone.

She wants to reach out to the teenagers in the community and persuade them to spend time in the library.

Pearson also talked about extending the hours the library is open.

"I would love to stay open on Friday nights to have a game, karaoke or movie night," said Pearson.

Friends of the Library is a club she is working to create where members will work to get word out about the library, attend community meetings to stay connected and help Pearson come up with new, fun ideas for the library.

The group will create community awareness, funding awareness and more hands on deck, meaning Pearson will have more people to help her with events, more visibility and community partnerships.

"One thing I absolutely do not want to do is approach people and ask them for money. I do not want to fundraise right now. My main goal currently is to understand the community," added Pearson.

With efforts to get more people in the library, she has started a Minecraft Club, held every other Thursday from 5-6 p.m., and a Lego Club, held on the last Monday of each month from 6-7 p.m. A Fifty Shades of Crochet club will start on March 7 from 10-11 a.m. Each club is open to all ages.

Story Time, which is on each Thursday at 9:30 a.m. at the Lewisburg branch and Friday at 9:30 a.m. at the Chapel Hill branch and genealogy help, the third Thursday of each month from 5-7 p.m. are two more of the activities offered at the library.

Upcoming events include tax help each Friday until mid-April for those who need help with tax preparation and have incomes less than $60,000; a Community Garden organization for people interested in joining the proposed community garden program in Lewisburg; and the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce Lunch and Learn from noon to 1:30 p.m. March 24. During the Lunch and Learn, Pearson will be teaching a class about the use of social media and websites to advertise businesses or nonprofit organizations.

For more information about times and dates of upcoming events and meetings, visit www.marshallcountylibrary.org.

Another announcement was made by Lewisburg's City Manager Randall Dunn.

Lewisburg was loaned equipment free of charge by Tennessee Transportation Assistance Programming to gather information at every traffic light over the next six weeks.

All 32 signalized intersections in Lewisburg-- 18 full-signal intersections and 14 flashing-light intersections -- will be tested on how much traffic is passing through and the turns the vehicles are making.

Once data is collected, the city will hire a traffic engineering firm to determine if a light should stay green longer, or even if a light is needed at all at that intersection.

The city has not yet decided on a firm to do this work, but it has applied for a grant that would fund it.

"We don't remember the last time this was done, so we want to make sure the timing on the lights is all matching how much traffic is coming in," said Dunn.

He reminded CDB members the City of Lewisburg was awarded a grant to fund construction of a pervious parking lot behind the Farmers Market pavilion at Rock Creek Park. Just five of these grants were awarded in the state this year.

Dunn said improvements to Rock Creek Park should be finished in time for this year's Goats Music and More Festival the second weekend in October.