The city of Evarts now has a bigger and better option when it comes to library facilities, with the Evarts Public Library, a branch of the Harlan County Public Library, moving into a new building.
The Evarts branch will open its doors for normal business at the new location, across the street from Evarts City Hall, on Wednesday morning. A ribbon cutting was held to officially open the new building at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Evarts Branch Director Lisa Adkisson says the branch will offer all services available at the main branch in Harlan.
“We’ve just finished building here in Evarts,” said Adkisson.
Library services in Evarts began with a stationary bookmobile several years ago, Adkisson said.
“That was used by the patrons in this area, and they saw the need to experiment by opening a storefront library,” Adkisson explained. “We rented a spot across from the Cloverfork Clinic for five years.”
Adkisson said the community responded right away to the storefront library and used all the services available. Those services were, however, limited.
“We didn’t have a community room,” Adkisson said. “It sort of limited us in programming. But now that we have the new library, we have a community room that will be available and we have more room for programming for children and adults.”
The Evarts branch is a full-service library facility.
“We offer the same services as the other two branches,” Adkisson explained. “We have public access computers, we have fax machines available and we also have printers and copiers.”
Adkisson said the Evarts branch offers all services mentioned on the Harlan County Public Library website.
“We have a system where we can pick up and drop off books between the three branches, so we can get things that maybe we don’t have but the Rebecca Caudill Library in Cumberland might have,” Adkisson said.
The Evarts branch now offers a story time for young children every Thursday at 4:30 p.m., and hopes to begin offering some things on Tuesday evening for teenagers soon, according to Adkisson.
Adkisson said the Evarts branch currently has over 10,000 volumes available today.
“With the space available now, we’ll be free to order more books for our patrons,” Adkisson said.
To receive the full benefit of the library’s services, folks may wish to consider getting a library card.
“We’ll make you a card,” Adkisson said. “It works at all three library branches. You don’t have to have a card to come in and access the public computers or have faxes or copies made, we do that for the general public.”
Adkisson explained a card is needed to use many of the services available on the library’s website at http://www.harlancountylibraries.org/
“There are so many things on our website,” Adkisson said. “We have Mango Languages, there’s a program for looking up antiques and getting prices on those type of things, there’s Chilton’s (a reference for auto mechanics), there’s a lot of practice testing for teachers and nurses, there’s access to practice testing for the ACT, there’s a variety of things you can access. You do have to put in your library card number to access those programs, but they’re free to the public.”
Adkisson mentioned a library card also provided access to movies on DVD and music CDs that can be checked out in the same fashion as books.
The Evarts Public Library opened for business in the new building on Wednesday. Hours are Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays when the library will be open until 7 p.m.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde