Thursday, November 27, 2008
Library gets grant
By SUE WATSON
Potts Camp Library received a private grant of $1,000 from Dollar General.
The money is expected to be used to enlarge the children’s book section, said Patricia Westmoreland, librarian for 10 years and substitute librarian for eight or nine years.
Potts Camp Library is very important to the community, said Diane Schule, head librarian for Marshall County. In the early 1990s the library was about to be closed because of budget cuts but the townspeople circulated a petition and the library remained open, she said.
Not only did the little library remain open, it expanded its hours from 12 to 20 hours a week. Computers and a fax machine were added and a meeting room was created. The library is the only place some Potts Camp citizens can come to use the Internet for research, filing job applications, or writing their resumes. The public can send a fax very cheaply. Children can do research for school projects and assignments. The library is also a favorite place for senior citizens to visit and network. And the Boy Scouts use the library as a place to meet.
In the current building on Church Street (across the street from City Hall), Potts Camp has had a library since at least the 1930s, but likely longer.
Before moving to its current location, the library was located in a house by the school, in a shop on 178 and at other places.
Schule said the first library in Potts Camp could have been built in the 1930s by the WPA as was the Byhalia Library.
The last dedication of the library was April 15, 1960, when the library was next door to a movie theater on Highway 178.
Schule said it is community support that has kept Potts Camp’s library alive and that the facility becomes more necessary in hard economic times when it serves as a source of entertainment for families who cannot afford anything else.
“I think it is important for everyone to know how important it is to the community and as a place, especially for seniors, to catch up on the local news,” she said.
The library’s holdings are about 4,000 volumes which include reference books, new books, adult fiction and non-fiction, and a children’s book section which also is equipped with a computer.
Marshall County government is the largest supporter of the library system which includes the libraries in Holly Springs, Byhalia and Potts Camp, Schule said. The library system accepts book donations, soft cover or hard back, as well as other resources.
The Marshall County Board of Supervisors has been helpful in both funding the Potts Camp library and in its maintenance.
“The county just fixed the ceiling and the roof and is repainting,” Schule said. “The carpet has been cleaned and the meeting room is furnished.’
Schule thanked supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett for pushing for maintenance and improvements in the library building, county administrator Larry Hall for seeing to the repair of the building, and the citizens of Potts Camp for supporting and using the library’s resources.
“This is one of the strongest community-supported libraries I have ever seen,” Schule said. “This community wants this library. So this grant from Dollar General is particularly welcomed.”
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