A discussion on extending library hours in LaFollette led to debate about moving the library at Tuesday’s LaFollette Council workshop.
A letter drafted by the LaFollette Public Library Board stated the library board unanimously approved extending the library service hours under several stipulations.
The stipulations outlined in the letter were the allowance of additional funds to pay a part-time employee, a resolution to allow for public restroom access and the support of the council in locating resources to build a new library.
In addition to the board’s opinion on library hours, it also voted on whether or not to move the library into the West LaFollette School. The board unanimously rejected the notion of moving the library to the old school based on the inadequate structure of the school.
Councilman Joe Bolinger originally proposed extending the library’s hours of operation on Saturday. When the issue previously came to the council for a vote, Library Director Nancy Green explained the library board must first approve the hours before the council. The LaFollette Public Library operates under state standards, with a regional director and board of directors directing its operations.
Though everyone was in agreement of extending the library hours to be open on Saturday, Mayor Mike Stanfield debated the idea of moving the library into the West LaFollette School.
Stanfield was adamant about the facility’s size and location being good for a library.
“I have talked to a few of the business people back here and they are against building a library back here in the parking lot,” said Stanfield. “The business people feel they are being pushed out of the city.”
Eunice Reynolds, member of the friends of the library and library board member, said building a library behind the municipal building would only revitalize the downtown area and would not disrupt local businesses.
“We appreciate this and we will take this under advisement,” said Stanfield as he waived the board’s letter in the air.
The council agreed to put the item on the agenda for the meeting on June 2, at 7 p.m.