Independence County Library Board meets, welcomes new member

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By Bob Qualls

The Independence County Library Board welcomed a new member at its meeting Wednesday.

Dr. Bruce Johnston was appointed to the board by the Independence County Quorum Court earlier this month and attended his first meeting. Board chairman Bill Walmsley called Johnston a “great addition to the board.” Johnston is a retired vice president of student life at Lyon College.

He replaces Mary Cooper Miller, whose term expired at the end of the year. Miller had missed several meetings due to ill health near the end of her term. The board approved a resolution recognizing Miller and commending her for her commitment to the library and the board. The resolution, read by Walmsley, thanked her for her service and wished her the best.

The chairman of the board’s building committee, Dr. Gary Coots, told the board the Barnett Building renovation on target for its expected completion in March or April. The grand opening is planned for July 2018 after the library relocates to the new building.

On Walmsley’s recommendation, the board approved a loan of $400,000 in surplus funds to the building fund being used by the county to renovate the Barnett Building. This puts the building fund total at $2.6 million.

Walmsley also said the naming rights policy has received pledges of $275,000. Only two naming rights remain: the public meeting room and the teen room. However, Walmsley said that some of the donors chose to make their full pledge payment before the end of 2017 because of changes in the tax laws enacted by Congress in December. The fund has received $189,000 in payments to date.

Vanessa Adams, library director, said plaques are being designed to recognize all the donors in time for the grand opening.

Walmsley asked Adams to prepare an inventory and description of the furniture the library will need when it’s open. He wants it presented to the board at its next meeting.

library boardThe Independence County Library Board includes (back row from left): David Thompson, Ashley Walker, new member Dr. Bruce Johnston, Dr. Gary Coots; (front row) Vanessa Adams, library director, and Bill Walmsley, board chair. Photo by Bob Qualls

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