After months of discussion and several very disappointing holdbacks, the Williford community is one step closer to making their new library a reality. The new location will be out of the way of the grasp of the mighty Spring River that has notoriously flooded the current location on three different occasions, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage.
On Nov. 23 realtor Paul Garner, Marilyn Bischoff, who represents the interest of the late Glenna Garner in keeping a library in Williford area, along with Jim and Anna Hardy the sellers of the land and building on which the new library will be housed, signed the deed to the property to allow the library to move forward. The new library is being funded by a $233,000 grant made available by the Federal Stimulus grand for rural development in Sharp County. The grant will allow the library to be relocated and enlarged to better serve the Williford area which extends from the Ozark Acres area to near the Randolph County line near Ravenden.
After the required renovations of the building, the new library will be located just outside Williford across from Paul Garner Real Estate on Highway 63. Bischoff said the renovations will take until the spring of 2010. She said the money is being released from the grant to help architect Larry Bronson draw up further plans for the building so bids can be accepted for the library.
This is a huge step for the Williford branch of the White River Regional Library. The new library will be housed in a much better location and with more ease of access, it is hoped that more people in the community will utilize the services offered, including new computers. Bischoff says many do not have access to computers or Internet, and the library is a wonderful asset to the community for this service as well as many others.
While waiting for the renovation, the library has had to move the books back in from the floods of late October, that once again caused the library to move out. The books are being put back into the current building and hopes that it will not flood again before they can get moved into the new building. Bischoff said she is very thankful for the cooperation she and others who have been instrumental in making the library a reality for the community, including the Ozark Acres SID. Bischoff said "We are looking forward to one of the best libraries any county has to offer." She said the library hours will be established after the move into the new building is complete.