Meridian Times staff writer
OKEMOS—The Okemos Library is more than halfway to its goal of $100,000.
In the fall of 2012, Jerry Richards, former Meridian Township Manager, proposed at a township meeting that renovations for the Hope Borbas Okemos Library should be apart of the 2013 budget. From there, the township board approved renovation plans estimating costs to be around $300,000. The board decided that $200,000 will come from the township’s general fund and the remaining $100,000 from private fundraising.
“We’re not building out or building up, we’re building within,” said Betsy Hull, head librarian for the Okemos Library.
This 12,000-square-foot building was built in the 1970s. The Okemos Library moved into this space on Sept. 11, 2001 in thought of someday moving into a new building.
Renovation plans include more space for children’s activities, a larger reading room, and better parking. Plans also includes an upgrade on wiring and technology because the library currently have only 3 electrical outlets for the public to use.“We need community help and every amount counts,” said Hull.
Okemos resident Tina Parker stands in front of the fundraising goal poster located inside of the Okemos Library/Photo Courtesy of The Okemos Library[/caption]
The library hopes to reach its goal by the end of March. Donations of any amount are accepted every day, the library even has a tip jar located at the front desk. The Friends of the Okemos Library is hosting their quarterly book sale (Feb. 23-24), with a portion of the sales going to the renovations.
Local businesses are also raising money for the library. The owners of the Asian Buffet, located on Marsh Road in Okemos, will donate 10 percent of their gross income to help the Okemos Library on Feb. 25-28.
If the library does not reach its goal of $100,000 by the end of March, the renovations will not begin and the money raised will be refunded.
Last year, the library averaged around 67 to 75 visits per hour.