$5,000 In Repairs
To Front Entrance
Comes Courtesy Of
'Friends Of Library'
BY KRISTEN BUCKLES
The Greeneville-Greene County Public Library recently enjoyed a bit of a facelift thanks to the efforts of the Friends of the Library, a non-profit group that has aided the facility for several years.
Although the library is jointly owned by the Town of Greeneville and Greene County, its façade had begun to develop a look of disrepair, with chipped and peeling paint on the columns and wooden accents, as well as some more serious, less cosmetic issues.
For example, the louvered vent at the front above the entrance became so loose and deteriorated that it fell back into the attic, leaving a gaping hole that Library Director Don Miller said lasted from Spring to just a few weeks ago, when the Friends group reinstalled it.
When months passed and the exterior condition of the library continued to worsen, Friends of the Library Board of Directors President Lindy Riley said the Friends began to call for action.
"Like a number of other people in town, we began to notice how disgraceful that library looked," she said.
"There were a couple people who wrote Letters to the Editor about how shabby the library looked, because the paint was peeling and the wood was rotting."
Riley was quick to admit that she was not the voice on the organization's board calling for the Friends to make the repairs. In fact, she said, she was the opposition.
"To be honest, I was the one that said, 'I don't think we ought to spend our money on this to improve somebody else's property. It belongs to the city and the county, and if they can't take care of it, why should we?'" she recalled in an interview.
The other nine members of the Friends board quickly overruled her, she said.
"Everybody else said, 'Look, we're here to take care of the library. We really need to act on this,'" Riley said. "Finally, I came to agree with them that somebody's got to take care of the building."
The board voted to spend $5,000 in donations on the exterior improvements, but ended up going somewhat over budget when the professional painter they hired found rotting wood.
The Friends organization replaced some of these rotting areas, the largest of which was the collared foot around the front columns.
The painter, Blanche Campbell, and the wood installer, Shannon Fox of Fox Custom Homes, donated some of their labor, citing their desire to aid the library.
Aiding in these efforts, Riley said, was also a $500 materials donation from Modern Woodmen of America.
Some of the painting is still underway, and the Friends know that several more repairs are needed if the money becomes available, Riley said.
Miller is also well aware of those needs, but focused in an interview on his relief to have some of the exterior problem situations addressed. He said the library looks the best it has looked in his five years as director.
"I'm very pleased, of course," he said. "It needed doing, and we're happy to have it done. We've received some acknowledgments on it."
The Friends of the Library Board of Directors includes: President Riley; Vice President Kathy Giles; Secretary Jo Christensen; Treasurer Bill Riley; Doug Archbold; Sandra Britton; John Cox; Shannon Duer; Jon Jenseold; and, Marge Saulsbury.
Those interested in aiding the Friends of the Library organization may call the library for more information at 638-5034.