BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
The Greenville-Butler County Public Library (GBCPL) recently announced a Phase 2 Capital Improvement Campaign and new library logo this past Thursday evening.
GBCPL Director Kevin Pearcey spoke to attendees about the history of the library before introducing Trustee Chairperson Vivian McGowin who elaborated on the campaign and what it entails.
An eight page storybook elaborated the basics of the presentation by Pearcey.
“Who would have thought that a cedar chest in the early 1900s would hold the dreams of a library that would serve a city, a county and generations that would follow?
But that oversized cedar chest in Greenville was the genesis of what would become the Greenville-Butler County Public Library.
Jennie Vieve Poole, a member of the Greenville Study Club and founder of the library, recounted the story of that old cedar chest in her grandmother’s home when the newest version of the library opened in 1992.
When she was a child, that cedar chest, filled to the brim with books, was her key to seeing the world. Just like the promise that cedar chest held for Mrs. Poole, the library holds those keys to the world that lies just beyond its doors.
After all, when you open the doors to a library, you open the doors to the world that awaits inside. And in January 1932, Mrs. Poole and the Greenville Study Club opened the first free library in Greenville.
Over these many decades, the library took us from childhood to classics: See Dick Run, Green Eggs and Ham, Sam I Am, Little Women, The Great Gatsby, The Old Man and the Sea, and To Kill a Mockingbird.
It shed new light in our lives and gave us new perspectives through the written word. “To be or not to be …” – the words and brilliance of Shakespeare still speak to us.
So does the view of life from Thoreau – “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”
Of course, the library provides us millions of pages in millions more volumes – each one with the potential to reach us, teach us and impact our lives.
But the library does not stop there. Moving from book shelves to computer screens, audio books, DVDs and streaming video, our library is still central to our yearning for lifelong learning.
This is our story. It is one of a community striving to provide a public library that is continually evolving to meet the needs of its constituency.”
McGowin urged participation in the capital improvement campaign based off a letter to Stakeholders.
“Our story is one of many chapters already concluded and many more yet to come.
Our journey has taken us from a one-room library all the way to a 12,000-square-foot facility which also includes an outdoor pavilion.
With your help, we are ready to begin the next leg of this vital journey in providing our community with state-of-the-art, cutting edge library facilities that will enhance the educational opportunities and quality of life offerings for the people of Greenville and Butler County for generations to come.
No contribution is too small to make an impact. As Helen Keller once wrote, “Alone we can do so little. Together, we can do so much.”
Our story is your story, which continues to have as its plot an intense determination to be the best. Please join us as we write The Next Chapter together!”
The improvements, which will cost $300,000, are listed below.
- Children’s Room Enhancements – The Children’s Activity Room will see chairs and tables replaced along with increased technology, including fixed iPads, computers and hands-on learning stations.
- Foyer Showcase – A pair of large display cases will be added to the foyer leading to the Community Room to spotlight the exciting programs available at the library.
- Outdoor Plaza – An aesthetically appealing Outdoor Plaza can be added to the rear of the main facility for outside seating, where patrons can read and enjoy the beautiful adjoining grounds of the Camellia Pavilion. Stairs added to the Plaza will connect to the Pavilion.
- Historical Mural – The vaulted ceiling at the center of the library will feature enlarged historic photographs of Greenville and Butler County covering the entire interior wall space. It promises to be an awe-inspiring addition to the library, enhancing the aesthetic appearance of our library’s centerpiece.
- Parking & Beautification – Opportunities exist for greater parking access, landscaping and more outside lighting near the Camellia Pavilion.
To make a donation or become a benefactor call 334-382-3216.