For over nine decades, Plainview’s Main Street Carnegie Library served the community well. However, over the years the needs of the community outgrew the building.
During a February 2012 community meeting, it was determined that the 1917 building could no longer function effectively as the public library. A steering committee, with the assistance of JEO Consulting, embarked on the development of a new facility. Authorized through overwhelming support through public votes, local city funding reallocated an existing sales tax to the library in January 2013. A November 2014 vote authorized the city to issue bonds up to $500,000 toward the construction of a new library building. With the support of $250,000 in CDBG funds, a $375,000 Civic Community Center Financing Fund grant provided through DED, and CDAA tax credits, the new 7,000 sq. ft. public library was completed in May 2016 at a cost of $1.1 million. An official opening celebration was held during the Klown Days celebration in June 2016.
The new Plainview Public Library is more accessible for governmental and educational opportunities, it offers an expanded selection of books and resource collections, and has created an overall increase in library patronage. Home to 14,516 volumes with a circulation of 14,162 items per year, the library successfully serves a population of 1,246 residents. In addition, the Plainview Public Library offers computer and Internet access, community meeting rooms, facility accessibility, as well as a vibrant young adult space, a computer area, a study center, and a children’s area.
A computer with a large mouse, different screen coloring options, voice recognition software, and other features are now available for patron’s with disabilities. The library’s meeting room, can be divided into two spaces by a slide out wall, serving as a gathering place for graduation parties, baby showers, business meetings, workshops, and a polling station for primary voting. Beyond the tangible benefits, the new library has helped beautify Plainview, incorporating a modern look to their historic district.
Having a new library that is accessible to everyone from a baby to a senior citizen is the best benefit for the community. The new library is more than books. It is a gathering place to play Mahjong and other games, hold meetings, workshops, graduation parties, and even baby showers, a technology center, and a cozy sitting/reading area where you can sit in front of a fireplace and read the newspaper/magazine or just relax,” said Donna Christiansen, Library Director.
The Plainview Library project is a perfect example of communities demonstrating citizen participation, strategic planning, and local fundraising. Community support and participation were distinctly influential in all aspects of the project. The Plainview community is determined to strive for success in furthering community investments and with a committed local population, is destined to prevail.