On Tuesday, November 5, Richland County residents passed a $59 million library bond referendum--65 to 35 percent. It will enhance and redefine 10 of its 11 Richland Library facilities into true community centers focused on learning and access to technology. This is the first time in 24 years that voters were asked to approve additional capital funds for the library system.
Made possible with a USDA Rural Development grant and matching funds from Richland County, the library opened a state-of-the-art location in Eastover in April prior to requesting additional capital funds. Demonstrating to the community the possibilities for future library facilities and services, Richland Library Eastover served as a tangible example for voters.
"We're humbled by the fact that so many people voted for this," said Richland Library Executive Director Melanie Huggins. "We'll work harder than ever to show everyone that our libraries are worth it."
Plans for each location call for the addition and reconfiguration of space, technology and resources to better fit the way customers need and use the library. Each location will host a series of community focus groups that will allow customers the opportunity to help shape plans for their location.
A construction timeline is currently in development but the library expects to implement its Capital Needs Plan first by reconfiguring its 242,000 square foot facility in downtown Columbia and building two new facilities for the Northwest and Northeast portions of the county, which are currently served by a rented storefront library and small community library.
For more information about the Richland Library's Capital Needs Plan visit RichlandLibrary.com/about or call 803-929-3440.