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Friends of the Library to Fund New Bookmobile and Ash Grove Branch Library Upgrade

A new bookmobile and an upgrade for the Ash Grove Branch Library are planned for patrons of the Springfield-Greene County Library District, thanks to  funding from the Friends of the Library.

The board of the all-volunteer library advocacy group recently voted to provide at total of $267,000 for the two projects. Both are expected to be completed this year. The Friends earn money through the popular spring and fall book sales and proceeds from the Between Friends gift shops at the Library Center and Library Station.

The existing, 20-year-old bookmobile stops at 24 sites each week, mainly at low-income housing apartment complexes and weekly stops in Walnut Grove and Turners Station, areas that are underserved by any branch library.

The vehicle is well used by Missouri standards: In fiscal year 2008, the bookmobile made 1,237 stops, and served 16,083 patrons. The average annual number of stops for a bookmobile in Missouri is 103, and serves 1,340 patrons.

The Ash Grove Branch revitalization plan includes new paint, flooring, furniture, a refreshed collection and a more open, spacious atmosphere. The city of Ash Grove opened it in 1940 and it became part of the Springfield-Greene County Library District in 1956. The library is located at 101 E. Main St.

“I am so grateful for this amazing support,” said Library Executive Director Regina Greer Cooper. “We may just possibly have the greatest Friends group ever.”

Kathleen O’Dell is community relations director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District. She can be reached at kathleeno@thelibrary.org.

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