Rushville already has the money in hand to make it eligible for $1.2 million in state grant money to build a new library building.
The $400,000 required in local matching money comes in the form of a bequest from Mardelle Hinner. The estate stipulated the cash be spent on a new library building.
Library Director Charlene Copeland said the current two-story building will be replaced by a single-story library.
“It makes it more accessible for everybody,” Copeland said. “It just makes it easier to run the library (as well) so that we’re not on two floors because it’s usually just two at a time at the library staff-wise.”
Copeland said the current building is nearly 100 years old and is cramped. The new library will be nearly triple the size. It will be built at the corner of Mason and Maple on land the city bought last year.
Copeland said the library still checks out as many books as ever, even in this age of tablets, e-readers, and computer downloads. She said visitors can check out e-books from the library thanks to a book-sharing consortium’s database.
“You use your library card, you go on-line, and you put in your library card number and your PIN and then you can look for books and you can download them straight to it. Regular e-books to read plus audio books to listen to,” Copeland said.
She said visitors can choose to check out books for one, two, or three weeks. After that time the book expires so there are no late fees.
Copeland also pointed out some people don’t have access to a computer or other device so they still rely on the library for hard copies of reading materials.
“I always think of a library as (a place of) equal access for all,” Copeland said.