The Monroe County Public Library has plans for opening a third branch. Library Director Sara Laughlin explained the long-term project to the Monroe County Council at a Council meeting December 9th. She said it would be at least several years before the new branch would open. The Library currently has two branches, one in downtown Bloomington and the other in Ellettsville.
Laughlin said she believes the Library is not adequately serving all County residents. She showed the Council a map indicating the percentage of residents with Library cards throughout the County.
Laughlin went on to say the next branch would probably be located in the southwestern part of Monroe County. She said that is the fastest growing area and she thinks the development of Interstate 69 will only further that trend.
Laughlin made the statements during a presentation about a $2 million loan the Library plans take out. The loan would include money that could be spent on land for a new branch as well as funds for an addition to the Ellettsville library, new equipment at Community Access Television Services and other expenses. Several members of the Council, including Cheryl Munson and Lee Jones, said they were excited about a third branch.
The Council later voted unanimously in favor of the $2 million Library bond. Later in the meeting the Council heard a request to expand the staff at the County’s Youth Services Bureau. The Bureau runs the Binkley House Emergency Youth Shelter among other responsibilities. For months Bureau Director Kim Meyer has said her staff is overworked. She asked for two more full-time staff members and extra hours for a third position. Council President Geoff McKim said the County could run into trouble with the fund it uses to pay for many of the Bureau’s activities.
The County just raised the rate for the Juvenile County Option Income Tax earlier this year to provide more funding to youth services. The Council later voted to approve the new positions.