Wabash Valley library plans expansion, renovations

The project is estimated at over $2 million dollars.

Posted: Oct 19, 2018 1:40 PM
Updated: Oct 19, 2018 5:47 PM

CASEY, Ill. (WTHI) - Libraries can open our eyes to a world of possibilities. One Wabash Valley Library is working to make that happen for all.

Bill Weaver is what you'd call a "book worm." At 86-years-old, you'll find him at the Casey Township Library, a few times a month.

A photo of the current Casey Township Library. (WTHI Photo, Lacey Clifton)

Weaver explains, "I read 3 books every two weeks. So you can do the math on that and see about how many books I've read."

Weaver loves his library visits. He loves his book options. He loves the staff.

Weaver says, "It's amazing I come in here, like I say, every two weeks, and I'm in here for an hour or so. And it's amazing how many people come through that door."

But what Weaver doesn't love, is how hard it is to get in the building.

Weaver shares, "I have to have a walker, or this cane, and I can't get up those steps with a walker."

The library isn't handicap accessible, which is an issue for patrons like Weaver. But, the library has launched a multi-million dollar expansion and renovation project to help fix that.

Casey Township Library Assistant, Ashley Athey, says, "It is a total interior remodel and an addition outside. We aren't currently accessible at all for handicap patrons or elderly patrons, so that is our main focus."

Weaver says library staff has been great, but the move couldn't come at a better time.

Weaver shares, "If they know I’m coming, they meet me out at the car, and they carry my books in that I'm bringing back and then, when I get ready to leave they take the books back out to the car for me. That makes it a whole lot easier for a fella like me."

Weaver says to see these changes in his time is rewarding.

He says, "I'm very, very pleased with this library, and I'm very, very excited about the new addition that's going to be put in here."

Weaver isn't the only one pushing for the library's upgrades.

Last year, the library checked out over 20,000 items, and served nearly 700 borrowers. One of them is Karen Bradford. She worked for the library for four years.

Bradford says her love for the place grew when her husband got cancer. She says the library brought her, and her husband comfort. Especially with a book series the library custom-ordered for him.

Bradford shares, "He read 18-22 of those books that I know of and it was a joy. He could sit outside, the neighbors would come to visit him, if it wasn't for that book, he may not be out there visiting."

The library also plans to add study rooms, meeting rooms, and a community room. The project is estimated at over $2 million dollars. There are many ways to donate to the library's expansion project. To do so, contact the library at (217) 932-2105.

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