Morrisons Cove Herald - Putting cows on the front page since 1885.

By Karen Bassler
Staff Writer 

RS Library Works to Meet the Community's Changing Needs

'A Novel Affair' Fund-raiser and Silent Auction to be Held March 21


February 20, 2020

Karen Bassler

The library has taken over ownership of the Eldon Inn, the building that houses the library. The library is working with an Altoona architect to preserve the historic integrity of the building as it is in the historic district in Roaring Spring and has been on the National Historic Register since the mid-1980s.

February is Love Your Library Month.

Michele McIntyre, director of the Roaring Spring Community Library, spoke of all the different ways the library serves the local community. Children's programs, genealogy resources and technology assistance are just a few of the things your library has to offer.

"Love Your Library Share Your Coins" is a fundraiser done in February. Thirty-six businesses in the area have jars out for donations. A sandwich sale is slated for April.

Another fundraiser is The Novel Affair and Silent Auction. This year's auction will be held on March 21 at the Trinity United Methodist Church. The doors open at 5:30 p.m. There will be about 130 different items to bid on including a trip to Vermont and a trip to Panama. The dinner is being catered by Frederick's Meat Market. Baskets and donations are currently being accepted. Ideas for individual donations include gift cards and gift subscriptions.

"The goal this year is to raise $25,000. I always set a high standard for it, but I'm hoping. I'm hopeful," said McIntyre.

The fundraisers must bring in 56 per cent of operating expenses just to keep the doors open. The state requires that 12 per cent of the total budget be spent on materials including books and internet service. The library is not permitted to charge a fee for any of its programs, however; there is a cost to the library in the form of utilities, postage and materials.

"So many people think that we get our postage free or we get free books from the publishers. Free heating, free telephone, free electric. No. We have all the utility bills that everybody else has. And that's why we do things like Love Your Library, to cover those bills," McIntyre said.

Programmable thermostats, timers and other cost effective measures are used to help control costs.

Fundraisers in the fall include a sandwich sale and the Annual Appeal. The first vintage-upcycled purse and jewelry sale was held last year and is slated to run again in September 2020.

The Eldon Inn

The library has taken over ownership of the Eldon Inn, the building that houses the library. The library is currently working with an Altoona architect to preserve the historic integrity of the building as it is in the historic district in Roaring Spring and on the National Historic Register since the mid-1980s.

With new ownership of the building came a surprise. The library received a bill for the transfer tax in the amount of $5,200, due within the month. The assessment office has been very helpful and an appeal has been filed. McIntyre would love to have the help of a tax attorney in this matter but limited funds prevent that from happening.

"We are always looking for an attorney who would be willing to sit on our board to help us with some of these things," McIntyre said.

McIntyre has been at the library since 1997 as director. Library work has changed significantly and libraries are continually working to remain relevant in their communities. Currently, much of what is needed by patrons is social service access. Although the library does not provide the services, it is a great resource to find those services.

Community Meeting Rooms

Another way McIntyre and her staff are keeping the library relevant is by making the library more of a community hub with community meeting rooms. There are rooms available for patrons with no transportation to meet with professionals who only have offices outside the area. The library offers a place for private meetings with attorneys, therapists and financial advisors. In an area with no public transportation, getting to professionals can prove to be difficult for some but with space at the library, the professionals can come to their clients.

Opportunities to bring in more revenue are constantly being explored. The possibility of a coffee shop or space for another business to move in are two such ideas. New revenue could provide the chance to offer new business space and hot-desking space. Hot-desking, also called hoteling, is the practice of reserving a workstation for a period of time. This idea is popular with home-based businesses in need of a meeting space as the local fast-food restaurant is not always the best place to meet.

The front porch of the library is looked at as a three-season space. It is a highlight of the building and is slated for repairs under an historic grant.

"We do our summer programming out there. And if the weather is decent we do our spring and fall programming there as well," McIntyre said.

Last year, a winter coat donation program was started. Quite a few new coats were given away, no questions asked. If you need a coat, come get it.

The library is also working with Angel Feet Ministry to establish a remote shoe bank for children from low-moderate income families to receive new shoes.

Several support groups in the area have made inquiries regarding using the library for meetings.

"We have partnered with Trinity United Methodist and we are going to offer a summertime snack in the afternoon here for the kids through the National School Lunch Program," said McIntyre.

The library is always looking for volunteers to help with fundraisers and donations. Volunteers are needed for Friends of the Library. Time is always appreciated.

"The Friends of the Library is something we'd really love to reboot. We do have a Friends of the Library, it's just not incredibly active right now," said McIntyre.

Karen Bassler

The stained-glass window of the Eldon Inn.

Grants opportunities are being looked at to fund tele-med services at the library. Tele-med is the ability to video chat with your doctor. The library would provide the equipment, technology and the private rooms for patrons to video chat with a doctor who is at a different facility.

Genealogy programs are also available at the library. Donations of old yearbooks and programs are accepted for use by patrons. The community is asked to keep that in mind.

The library and its programs are ever changing, expanding when needed and cutting where necessary.

"It's going to be a labor of love for all of us and hopefully the community will take it on as a labor of love too. The vision of our founders will not be extinguished," McIntyre said.

For more information about what is happening at the library, stop in or visit the library Facebook page.


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