Horseshoe Bend residents have something to celebrate. At the Dec. 18 city council meeting they saw their long-time dream of a city library realized.
The new facility is largely due to the dedication of the Friends of the Library Inc.,
The Friends of the Library is a not-for-profit group of citizens who were primarily responsible for organizing the funding and construction of the building, said the group's current president, Phyllis Smith.
Smith officially turned the library over to the city of Horseshoe Bend at the Dec. 18 city council meeting.
Smith said the idea for a library started with a book exchange directed by the Garden Club. "We basically had a little cubby hole at first, and it just gradually grew."
The growing number of books and the overall popularity of the Garden Club's book exchange led to the formation of the Friends of the Library in 2000, according to Smith.
From there it took off.
Smith said that with the exception of $40,000 given by the state and $20,000 donated by Horseshoe Bend, the new library, which cost $350,000, was completely paid by the Horseshoe Bend citizens' participation in fundraisers. "This building was given to the city debt free, and virtually all of the funds came from here in Horseshoe Bend," Smith said.
The Friends of the Library broke ground on the building in September 2003.
"We did the construction in phases," said Smith's husband, Stephen. "We built what we could as the money came along."
Finally, after six years of planning and working, the Friends of the Library hosted the library's grand opening June 3.
Today the Horseshoe Bend Library, located along Club Road, is a 4,500-square-foot facility equipped with three public computers, a wide assortment of texts, a reference study room, a children's reading corner and the Dr. Russell and Betty Wolfe Community Room.
The library has two part-time librarians, Aimee Watts and Shirley Alger, and numerous volunteers who man the facility.
The Friends of the Library will continue to be involved, according to Smith. "Now that it's here, our goal is to work to support and sustain the library," Smith said.
"All of this was made possible by dedicated citizens," she said. "Our library shows what people coming together can do."