Visitors to the Meridian-Lauderdale County Public Library are currently greeted with 20 year old wrinkled carpet, dirty walls, and bathrooms that are not accessible for people with disabilities, but all that is about to change. Extensive renovations are underway and Library Director Steve McCartney says by upgrading those three elements, they'll be able to provide a better library experience.
"It showed its age, and it kind of didn't meet what today's fast-paced life is. We're trying to update that, make it more comforting, while at the same time spicing it up a bit."
McCartney credits saving taxpayer money over the long-term to the fact that they haven't had to ask the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors or Meridian City Council to help fund the $130,000 project he says is greatly needed.
"I've had very conservative library boards in the past, and they too believe as I believe that if it's something that the library doesn't essentially need for day to day services, then why purchase it?"
With more and more people turning away from libraries and to technology, these renovations are crucial in retaining existing patrons and finding new ones.
"Reading has become secondary. We have a generation today that can get on Facebook and share their lives with the entire world, but the same generation can't read. We're really hoping to make a mark and do even a small thing to improve literacy rates in Lauderdale County."
The renovations should last for another 8-10 weeks.