When thinking in terms of resources and services, the Cannon County Library System is one of the county’s best-kept secrets, but members of the library staff and board of trustees are working hard to spread the word.
Members of the Library System and its Board of Trustees recently conducted a meeting to provide an overview of the Cannon County Public Library System and its need to expand.
“The library is an amazing resource and everybody working together makes it work,” said Rita Allen, Director of the Cannon County Library System. “We have a great thing and all we can do is make it greater. We are very crowded and we need space, and we need to expand.”
Plans are in place for an expansion to Adams Memorial Library. The Cannon County Library System also has a branch in Auburntown. Austin Jennings said cost for the expansion would be “$2 million.”
Angela Ott, chair of the Board of Trustees, said there has been a great deal of creating plans for a new building.
“Once the funds are secured we are ready to build our new building,” Ott said. “There is a lot of fund-raising taking place now and we are working toward our goal. I really see the public library as a vital part of making the American Dream come true. You can find access to the world even if you don’t have the resources at home.”
The library is funded by the Cannon County Commission, the Town of Woodbury, state grants, and donations. It receives primary support from three separate and cooperative groups: The Cannon County Public Library Board of Trustees; the Dr. and Mrs. J.F. Adams Memorial Association; and Friends of the Library - a citizens group that raises funds and community support and provides volunteers to enhance library services.
“Our future is secure. We are working to create a bigger and more involved volunteer base,” Allen said. “We are well known from the little people to the older people. Helping people is what it’s all about. We are important to a lot of folks.”
Allen said the library recently received a grant and will be adding seven new laptops to its computer lab. This is in addition to the eight computers already available to patrons. Visitors not only can check out an array of books, but officials indicate people utilize the library for a host of other reasons, such as computers, checking out movies, geneaology, research and the Adams Memorial Library is equipped with Wi-Fi.
And the best part is most library services are free.
The monetary value of library services; however, indicate the Cannon County Library System has yielded a return of $9.71 for every $1 invested. Costs are based on services offered by retail establishments. Many of these resources are invaluable to citizens but access to computers is critical considering 30 percent of Tennesseans still do not have Internet access at home, according to Connected Tennessee.
Cannon County residents are taking advantage of their public library system. In 2008-09, the 13,804 residents of Cannon County checked out 37,441 items from a collection of 40,097 and used public computers 12,364 times.