Library seeks funds to continue outreach
By John Howell
The Batesville Public Library continues to push services from its building out into the community, librarian Hanna Lee said Tuesday, prefacing her request for increased support during the city’s budgeting for the 2018 fiscal year.
“My thought is that if we are not reaching every business, every person that is in Batesville then we’re not doing our job,” Lee said. Outreach efforts have included the Panola Partnership, the Boys and Girl Club, child care facilities, vacation Bible schools, apartment complexes, retirement homes, farmers’ markets and high-traffic locations and special events like SpringFest and school field days, according to Lee.
The Library Connect van made possible in part by last year’s city funding gives the library a visible and useful presence including serving as a wi-fi hot spot, according to the librarian.
The First Regional Library seeks a $22,200 increase for the Batesville library for 2018, from $213,000 this year to $235,200.
“The library needs to be in the business of enjoying and amplifying Batesville’s success, so I continue to be thrilled about the work that is happening here on the Square, the work that is happening with tourism — that includes the Cross and that includes the Polar Express and all the things that are happening there, and also the work that Joe (Azar) and the Panola Partnership and the developments that are coming up with the corridor (development planning on Highway 6 between Batesville and Oxford), job readiness and economic development that’s happening in this area,” Lee continued.
“Batesville is such a beacon for our library and for innovative programming in the state of Mississippi and in the nation,” she said.
“Over the last year, I’ve had opportunity to present at a national conference about the great work that Batesville is doing to support its library, and people are just, honestly, blown away,” she said, countering a negative stereotype often associated with the state.
“I am thrilled to have support in you all who really recognize how the library can be a part of the economic growth and development in our community,” Lee said.
Lee was accompanied by interim First Regional Librarian Judy Card, staff members Justin Pope and Alice Pierotti and Amanda Tutor and members of the Batesville Friends of the Library.