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The Living Room of a Community

| See & Do | July 29, 2020

The Independence County Library- The Living Room of a Community

The Independence County Library has been serving the community since 1948. Seventy years later, they moved into one of the most iconic buildings in downtown Batesville and completely transformed their ability to better serve and educate the community. The move into the historic Barnett building provided a space that is nearly five times larger than the previous Carpenter building they occupied on Main Street for forty-one years. The new twenty-two thousand square foot library now features expanded bookshelves, a children’s play area, a teen room, computer lab, board room, and even a café! The building is a perfect example of when historical architecture meets modern design. 

Check out the Q&Q with Library Director, Vanessa Adams.Image title
• What did the recent upgrade in space mean to the library? Are you able to offer more services?
o The main reason for the library’s move was to be able to provide better services to the people of Independence County. Moving into such a large space has enabled us to offer many more services such as expanded children’s programs, teen programs, and more adult programs. We are especially happy that we have a teen department now and are able to work with teens to develop programs that they request. It has been very successful and continues to grow. 

• The digital age has brought many changes to the way people read and learn. How has the library adapted to those changes?
o The digital age is definitely upon us. Libraries are amazing at adapting to changes and the Independence County Library is embracing the digital age with eBooks, online newspaper access, public computers and WIFI, and streaming services. We have been working for several months to make certain all students in the county have access to eBooks. 

• What is your favorite part of the new facility?
o Although I love everything about the new facility, I would have to say my favorite part is the light. When I walk in the library, it feels so airy and welcoming because of the way the light comes through the windows we restored on the mezzanine. I think it’s cheerful and fun and I love it. 

• What do you love most about working at Ind. Co Library?
o I love our library staff. They are hardworking, dedicated, and fun to be around. They truly want to help every person who walks in the library. I feel as if we are a “work family” and that makes me so happy. If I can add one more “love,” I would say our café! It’s great to walk across the library and order lunch or coffee every day.

• Favorite thing about living here? 
o It has to be people. I have felt welcome in Batesville and Independence County since the day I began working at the library. I’m so proud to call this my home!

Albert Einstein once wrote, “the only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.” This rings true in Batesville, Arkansas. Explore the Independence County Library in person at 267 E. Main Street or visit their website at

Blog brought to by Citizens Bank, which works to improve the quality of life for all community residents by promoting educational opportunities, economic growth, and innovative civic partnerships. 

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