BARLOW-It was five years in the making, but Friends of the Barlow Library on Monday finally opened the new Community Resource Center on the lower level of the library. And the addition was done at no cost to the library system.
"The lower level was unfinished when the library building was originally purchased-but the library has been located on the upper level since 1998," said Anna Henry, manager of the Barlow branch of the Washington County Library.
She said the Friends of the Barlow Library group approached the library board five or six years ago about finishing out the lower level.
SAM SHAWVER The Marietta Times
Nancy Gribble, president of Friends of the Barlow Library, shows off a quilt, handmade by local quilters Lynn Rough, and Vivian Baumgard, that will be raffled off to benefit the new Barlow Library Community Resource Center. Tickets are $1 each, or six for $5, and available from Friends of the Barlow Library. In the foreground is a cake that was served during the opening of the resource center Monday evening.
"The library board was receptive to the idea, but we didn't have the funds to do it, so the friends of the library took on the project," Henry said.
Nancy Gribble, president of Friends of the Barlow Library, said it took some time, but the group raised $70,000 for the project.
"It took about a year for us to become a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization," she said. "We didn't use any library funds, but we held lots of fundraisers that included new and used book sales, and basket bingo."
Henry said the group also received some grant funding from the Sisters of St. Joseph organization and Belpre Community Foundation, as well as private donations.
The project turned the former library storage space into a large meeting room with new tile floors, restrooms, tables and chairs, and a sink, cabinets and refrigerator area.
Gribble said the facility will have multiple uses-for community gatherings, various exhibits and crafts displays, and other functions.
At a glance
About the new Barlow Library Community Resource Center:
Located on the lower level of the Barlow Library building in the White Oak Professional Center, off Ohio 339 in Barlow.
The $70,000 resource center project required no funding from the Washington County Library Board and was paid for through fundraisers by the Friends of the Barlow Library.
The 501(c)(3)group plans to add air conditioning, shelving and other upgrades to the facility as funding becomes available. Tax-exempt donations are welcome. Make checks payable to Friends of the Barlow Library, send to the Barlow Library, 45 White Oak Professional Center, Barlow, OH, 45712.
The first official function at the Community Resource Center is a local history and genealogy fair, scheduled at the new facility from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 6.
"We think the community will make a lot of good use of this area," Gribble added. "But more will be needed, like shelving and air conditioning, so we'll be continuing with our fundraisers and accepting donations."