March 3, 2017

What’s new at the Raymond Village Library? By Elizabeth Richards

There’s always something happening at the Raymond Village Library. New projects for the library include an at home delivery service, monthly art installations, two new construction projects, and organization of the Everybody Loves Raymond event.  

Library Director Allison Griffin said the “At Home Service” is being started to better serve patrons unable to get to the library.  “We know that we have a lot of Raymond residents who support the library and like to utilize the resources that we have but are physically unable to come in,” she said.  Staff and volunteers will deliver materials that can be checked out to homes in Raymond through this service.

There is a short application to participate in the at home delivery service.  This application can be completed online, be mailed to the patrons, or can even be completed over the phone with library staff. 

Griffin said that the library she worked at previously successfully provided this service, primarily to a senior center. In Raymond, library staff noticed that some people would pick up materials for their neighbors, but not everyone has someone who can do that for them. “We just want to make sure everybody has access,” she said. 

Patrons can go online to check out the library catalog, request specific titles, or indicate an author or genre preference and staff or volunteers will choose materials for them. A list is maintained to ensure they don’t get the same items, Griffin said. Interlibrary loan is also available for home delivery items.

Another new project at the library is the addition of monthly art installations. In January, paintings by Charles Miller were on display. For the month of February, photographer Jesse McDonald exhibited his work. “It gives the artist a chance to show their work outside the gallery/art museum circuit, and it allows people who don’t normally get a chance to go to an art museum, for whatever reason, to see a variety of artwork when they come to the library,” Griffin said.

Some artists may put their artwork up for display only, while others may choose to sell their work. No display fee is charged, but if artists would like to sell their work they are asked to donate a small percentage of sales to the library. 

 Any type of artwork is acceptable as long as the subject material is appropriate for all ages.   Artists from the local area can apply to have their work on display.  Interested artists should contact the library for more information. 

The layout of the library will soon be changing as well. An anonymous donor has provided funding for construction on the workspace and circulation desk. “This work will allow for more efficiency for staff, better flow in the front area and better visibility,” Griffin said.  

“Accessibility played a big role in the restructuring of the library,” Griffin added. The second construction project will address accessibility issues in the bathroom area. Another anonymous donor has issued a challenge grant for this portion of the construction. If the library raises $2000, the donor will give $2000. As of Monday, February 27, the library website indicated they are 73% of the way towards reaching that goal. “The library will remain open as much as possible during the construction,” Griffin said.
Many local merchants have donated materials to the construction projects. Hancock Lumber has supplied framing lumber; flooring has been provided by Miller Flooring; Paris Farmers Union and their partner Valspar donated primer and paint; and Arthur McClanahan donated drywall. 

Engineering services were also donated by Joseph H. Leasure, P. E.  L & L Structural Engineering Services, Inc. 

The library has also taken over responsibility for the “Everybody Loves Raymond” event in July.  Two new activities for this year will include a boat parade on July 21, and a pancake breakfast on the main day of the festival, July 22, 2017. More details will be available closer to the event.

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