Tabor Area Residents Checking Out New Library

The Lakin Library and Envisioning Center in Tabor opened just a month ago and library director Dawn Miller has been amazed by the amount of interest and traffic coming through the doors.

“We just started programming last week and we’ve had over 600 people in the library and over 200 items checked out and over 200 people attend programs,” said Miller.

The $1.7 million, 7,000 square foot facility had a limited opening Feb. 16. Construction  began last April with an original December finish but delays pushed the project back just over two months but it remained on budget.

“We did really well on the budget,” Miller said. “We had to cut back on the parking lot a little bit and we’ll see what happens there, where we stand with money, but it’s all pretty much on budget. The timing is a little off and we’re waiting to take down the old building but we’re in good shape.”

The new facility is a modern, community-hub that attracts patrons not only from Tabor but Thurman, Percival, Bartlett and Randolph. The building features seven times more shelf and common space than the previous library and has a large programming room with an 84- inch television, a commercial-grade kitchen, a “maker” space for public use, classroom space and a computer lab.

According to state mandate, there are no COVID-19 restrictions on how many patrons can be in the library nor are masks required. But Miller said if there is a particularly large number of people in the library, masks will be required.
After years of planning, design and then construction, Miller could not be more pleased with the finished product.

“There were some modifications we’ve had to make along the way, but all in all, I love the building and I’m so excited to share it with the community and let them see what this is,” Miller said. “It’s not just a library. Libraries are so much more than they used to be. They’re a cultural center and they’re a lot more for learning and entertainment. For people to come in and do that and not leave Tabor, that’s what our main goal was.”

Miller said the maker space, featuring a Cricut machine and other craft equipment, has been a particularly popular attraction. As has been the “cozy reading area” that features a fireplace and large comfortable chairs.

“We’ve had moms bring kids in and they just sit and read,” she said.

Tabor Fit, a low impact workout program for seniors, began meeting in the programming room last week.

“It’s been great for them to be able to come out and see people and work out again. It has been great,” Miller said. “It’s been a big thing for them to be able to come out.”

The former library, located next door, occupied the first floor of an 800-square foot residence built in 1860. That building is expected to be razed within the next two weeks. Attempts were made to relocate that building but it was determined the structure would likely not hold up during the move so that plan was scrapped. The site will be leveled to make way for a large patio space and a 13-spot parking lot.

All of the funding for the Tabor library project was privately raised. The Tabor Library Association, a local non-profit made up of community members and longtime library patrons, spearheaded the project that was more than a decade in the making. The Charles E. Lakin Foundation purchased the naming rights to the facility last summer with a contribution of $680,000.

Large donations were also provided by the Tabor Development Corporation, the Helen and Ralph Carl Foundation, Peter Kiewit Foundation, the Iowa West Foundation and the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust. Several local fundraisers also helped contribute to the project.

The Opinion-Tribune

116 S Walnut St Glenwood, IA 51534-1665
PO Box 191 Glenwood, IA 51534-0191
Phone: 712-527-3191
Fax: 712-527-3193

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