Roanoke library board working on lease of larger building in town

The Roanoke library may be moved to this building at 314 N. Main St. in Roanoke. The library would occupy the left side of the building, doubling the space it currently has. Photo by Lauren Wilson.

The Roanoke Public Library will double in size in August, if all goes according to plan.

The library's board of directors is working on the terms of a lease, which would allow the library to move from its current home at 126 N. Main St. to a location just up the road at 314 N. Main St.

The move is very important to the library, Director Celia Bandelier says, because the small space it now occupies - a limiting 1,298 square feet - creates many problems in operation.

Bandelier says the need for an expanded space has been growing over time. As Bandelier orders new material, she has to delete older items because there is simply not enough room to house all the books.

There are several perks to the move, says Bandelier. In addition to allowing for an expanded book collection, the bigger space (which measures close to 3,000 square feet) will allow the library to display its art collection and have more room to host events, she says.

There's still much to be done before relocation becomes a reality, Bandelier says. The library will be responsible for the cost of remodeling at 314 N. Main St. Currently, Bandelier says, the space barely has walls or floors. Due to the extensive work needed, it is estimated the move will not take place until late August.

Currently, a few key steps are being taken to get the ball rolling on the project. Bandelier says a petition must be filed, which requires the library to collect 50 signatures from Roanoke residents living in the library district (anyone living in town limits). The library must then bring the petition before a public hearing.
After the hearing, the library will be cleared to start construction.

Once the new building is ready, Bandelier says the library board hopes to host a "fireman's handoff" or some similar event to rally volunteers to help with the move.

The Roanoke residents can keep up with the goings-on regarding the library relocation by attending town festivals and the summer farmer's market where Bandelier says there is always information about the library available.

For further information about the library or about the new location, call Bandelier at 672-2989 Monday through Thursday 9 a.m to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.