Columbiana library cuts ribbon on new space

COLUMBIANA – Staff at the Columbiana Public Library celebrated the recent expansion of the library during a ribbon cutting ceremony on the evening of Thursday, April 26. The Columbiana Pubic Library recently incorporated 3,600 square feet of space donated by the Mildred B. Harrison Regional Library, which shares a building.

Dozens of people turned out for the event, which was hosted by the Friends of the Columbiana Library.

Friends of the Library President Peggy Wood said the expansion of the library has been highly anticipated in the community, and the planning and renovations have been three to four years in the making.

Columbiana Public Library Director Shelia Gallups said the new space is being used to expand the children section and establish a young adult section, as well as implement new programs for patrons of all ages.

“This will be great for summer reading,” Gallups said “We have enough space that we can do story time.”

Wood said the added space will increase educational opportunities for children and adults who have limited access to books and technology.

“All of the children in our area don’t have access to computers or as many books,” Wood said.

Shelby County Arts Council instructor Lynn Dodson painted several murals on the walls of the new space. Dodson said she did not anticipate painting as many murals, but enjoyed the process hopes to paint more at the library in the future.

“It kind of just kept growing, like the beanstalk,” Dodson said.

Mayor Stancil Handley said the expansion has been needed for “quite some time,” and he looks forward to seeing how the expansion will help the library better serve the city.

“We’ve got a newer, better and brighter look. With this addition, our library is welcoming to all ages,” Handley said.

Gallups thanked library staff, Friends of the Library, the city of Columbiana and Shelby County for making the expansion possible.

“Without all of them together, we couldn’t have done this,” Gallups said.