COVINGTON — The J.R. Clarke Public Library in Covington is recognizing their 100-plus years of service with an open house on Saturday, April 13, which will also advise local community members on new services and amenties available at the library.
“We’re celebrating over 100 years of service to the community,” J.R. Clarke Public Library Director Cherie Roeth said.
The library was founded in 1917 and was first known as the Covington Newberry Township School Public Library, she said. The library moved from the Newberry Township building to the elementary school, where it stayed until around 1950 when the library moved into the home of J.R. Clarke, a former state librarian and local resident at the time, on Walnut Street. In 1981, the library moved to its current home at 102 E. Spring St., Covington.
The library includes the personal collection of the Clarke family, including J.R. Clarke’s documented scrapbooks displaying events of his life and the lives of residents of Covington, along with a number of other local history and geneology resources, such as census data and microfilm.
On Saturday beginning at 1 p.m., the library’s event recognizing their over 100 years of service will begin in the Community Room with speakers discussing background and historical information on the library. The library will then give a a tour of the building, highlighting the library’s amentities like that SCANPro 3000 in the J.R. Clarke Alcove, the SMARTBoard in the Community Room, and the number of other services they will have available for patrons, the community, schools, businessses, and organizations.
The library is also receiving a number of books through a grant from the Molly Murphy Unicorn Foundation, and the parents of Molly Murphy will be dedicating those books and their place in the libary on Saturday.
“We want to be noted as being a service center for the Covington community,” Roeth said. The library’s goal of being a service center to the community goes along with their mission “to provide a broad range of library materials and services to meet the educational, cultural, and recreational needs of the public and to encourage lifelong learning within the community.”
New services will include lamination services along with copying, printing, and collating services at a reasonable price. The library will also be offering use of their SCANPro 3000, microfilm scanner, in their geneology department.
“It was a very, very generous donation,” Roeth said.
She said the library also has audio visual equipment available — such as the SMARTBoard the library received through a grant — for people who may want to use the library’s Community Room space to hold meetings, workshops, or presentations. Roeth added that college students who may be seeking a degree in education can also request to use the SMARTBoard for practice.
The library also has access to digital subscription databases — such as A to Z the U.S.A. and A to Z the World — to provide additional educational resources to the community.
“It is amazing what is available digitally,” Roeth said.
The library is also remodeling and repurposing some of their spaces to create a makerspace area, or a collaborative work area, in the basement for children and teens.
Roeth said these new services are “only the beginning.” They also plan on providing life skills training programs, STEM resources for home school students, exercise programs for adults, and summer reading programs.
For more information about the library, visit jrclarkelibrary.org.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org