Saturday, May 30, 2009

First Midway branch of county library is dedicated

By Al Cross
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

Twenty-one years ago, a small group of volunteers gathered to establish a volunteer library in Midway, with the ultimate goal of having a full-scale branch of the Woodford County Public Library. This month, the dream came true, and today, as 250 people watched, the library was dedicated.

"This is an incredible, special, remarkable day in Midway, Kentucky," county library board Treasurer Dr. Michael Nichols said as he opened the ceremony. The board chair, Midway City Council Member Charlann Wombles, said the creation of the library was the latest example of Midway's volunteer spirit. Mayor Tom Bozarth noted that construction of a branch library was part of the library board's petition campaign for a tax increase several years ago. "Your promise and commitment to Midway has been fulfilled," he told them.

The new library, built at a cost of just under $1 million, is next to Northside Elementary School on land donated by the city. Laura Bostrom is the manager, and Margaret Smith, who ran the volunteer Midway Free Public Library at 428 S. Winter St., will be a part-time employee of the branch.

The former library was organized in 1988 and established in 1989, originally in the all-purpose room of the Midway Presbyterian Church. It started with 1,000 books donated by the Woodford County Public Library and was staffed by volunteers. Smith suceeded Missy Robertson as librarian in 1992, two years before the library moved to Winter Street, in a building that was once the residence of the janitor for the old Midway High School.

The new building, with many more books and plenty of computers, will be a tool of democracy and a forum of ideas and information, said today's keynote speaker, David Duggan, minister of Troy Presbyterian Church. He said the library should be an information source "free from the biases and prejudice that taint to much of our information flow today."

For the rest of the story, click here.

Noah Jones, 9, of Midway, got a head start, reading before the ceremony. He is the son of Blake Jones, who performed music at the ceremony and told the crowd that his son told him, "Daddy, this is a good place to read."

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