Several concerned citizens in Jeffersonville are in the process of starting a community library within the village and are asking for help from local residents and businesses.
In 2020, the Carnegie Library branch in the Village of Jeffersonville closed due to COVID-related reasons and didn’t reopen. The village then assumed control of the library building, and last fall, village council decided to move the village offices to the library building.
“A group of us felt we needed to have a library in the community. Several of us started up a petition and we had over 100 people sign the petition. We decided to form a board,” said Jim Downing, the president of the board. “We filed the articles of incorporation with the state of Ohio and we’re in the process of filing for our 501c3 status with the IRS.”
The village agreed to lease this board the former village office site for the new community library, located at 4 N. Main St., as well as provide water and sewage.
“Renovations will be needed to bring the building up to code for public use, at our expense,” said Downing. “Those renovations include a rear emergency egress and a handicapped restroom.”
The goal is to be an all-volunteer library — open initially two to four days per week — depending on volunteer availability.
“To achieve this goal, we will need your financial and volunteer assistance,” said Downing. “Carnegie has left about 80 percent of the books and computers. We will need to upgrade the computers, provide updated books and movies, provide internet and phone service, furniture, copy/fax machine, insurance, and miscellaneous supplies.”
The mission of the Jeffersonville Community Library is “to provide resources, services and a place to encourage the community to read, connect, relax and learn.”
“One of the reasons we felt we needed this is to have internet access for the kids,” Downing said. “Even though this is 2022, there are still a lot of people who don’t have internet, or good internet, at home. We felt like this could be a service to the community…not just for kids, but for adults who need internet access for applying for jobs or whatever they may need it for. This would be a resource for people to come in and make copies or send faxes. There aren’t many places around where you can do that.”
The board has nine members: Downing, vice president Betty Hoppes, secretary Chrissy Charters, treasurer Kathy Schriver, David Morrow, Linda Hamilton, Pam Robinett, Pat Lewis, and Sue Burnside.
Downing said he estimates the board will need $35,000 for the first year to get the library up and running. The board has sent out a letter to the community asking for donations.
“Hopefully for the second year, we will need considerably less money,” Downing said. “We can’t do anything until we know we have the money to do the renovations. No donation is too small and none too large. We greatly appreciate any support the community can provide.”
Now that the community doesn’t have a library for the first time in over 25 years, Downing and the other board members believe this is very important to the Jeffersonville community.
“Our board feels we need a library not only for books, but a resource center for the community to be able to access the internet, make copies/faxes and provide community resources, socialization and community interaction,” Downing said. “We’re trying to do this as economically as we can. Without your financial and volunteer assistance, we would not be able to operate the Jeffersonville Community Library.”
Financial donations can be sent to:
Jeffersonville Community Library
4 North Main Street
Jeffersonville, OH 43128
Anyone with questions can contact Downing at 740-606-6431.
Reach Record-Herald Editor Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352.