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After months of anticipation, local library patrons finally got the chance to step inside the new Owen County Public Library Sunday.
Although the library didn’t officially open until Monday, many scanned the shelves during the open house to see what their first checkout from the new facility would be.
Discussions began in 2007 for construction of a new library facility and a groundbreaking ceremony was held just over a year ago at the library’s location on Hwy. 22.
Owen County Public Library Director Jennifer Nippert said when the library board interviewed her for her position five years ago, a new library was already being talked about.
“I asked how long they thought it would take and they said about five years and now here we are, five years later,” Nippert said. “We couldn’t havae done this without the support of the people of Owen County.”
Wilbert Ziegler, president and CEO of the RC Durr Foundation, said he was constantly reminded of Owen County’s need for a new library and was proud the foundation could contribute to the new facility.
The RC Durr Foundation donated $50,000 to the library, which Nippert said went toward the facility’s local history room.
State Librarian Wayne Onkst was also on hand Sunday to congratulate Owen County on its new library.
“This is truly a place to be proud of,” Onkst said. “It’s yours, it belong to Owen County and its people. Use it well, use it often and be proud of this facility.”
Susan Hampton, who works at the library and is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, presented Nippert with a flag to hang on the pole outside of the new facility.
The new facility comes with an expanded space for teens, a teen librarian, a revamped local history room and a “toddler tower.”
The library’s new hours are 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday-Thursday and 9:30-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
A teen open house will be held at the library from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Thursday and the Downtown County Band will perform at the library Thursday beginning at 6:30 p.m.