New community library opens

Promising entertainment, nusic and snacks, the new Siloam Springs Library will host its grand opening celebration this Saturday, March 12.

The long-awaited new building, located at 205 East Jefferson Street, has gone through years of planning and months of construction. Community members, schoolchildren and city officials celebrated the building’s completion with a ribbon cutting ceremony on March 7.

The celebration will take place between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. It will include a DJ, magician, caricaturists, balloon giveaways and snacks, according to the city’s Facebook page. The event is free and open to the public.

IMG_3408 “We’ve needed a new library for years,” Connor Wilkinson, University student and resident of Siloam Springs who attended the ceremony, said. “I’m glad they finally got around to it. My favorite part of the new  building is probably the tables by the windows. You can see the whole town.”

Wilkinson also said the new library will be a great alternative to the local coffee shops for University students to do homework and study in.

Carol Onstott, president of Siloam Springs Friends of the Library, said the reason the library is moving is to better “meet the needs of our community.”

Brenda McCord, a member of Siloam Springs Friends of the Library, said they outgrew their old building. The previous location of the library was an old facility and it was constructed when Siloam had a much smaller population.

“The new library sits on the previous site of the old hospital,” McCord said. “The city-owned hospital was sold several years ago and the public encouraged the city board to put some of those funds towards this much-needed public space.”

IMG_3412McCord said some of the benefits of the new library include reservable private study rooms and reservable conference rooms.

Onstott also said the facility will be used often by everyone in the community. This will include schools and businesses. The facility “will provide space to meet the needs of the people of our city, an increase in parking, easier access, continued support for the Summer Reading Program and other programs of the library, with room for growth in community involvement.”

Sarah E. White, senior education major, said, “There are very few things as powerful as reading. Reading opens up opportunities, takes you to new worlds and is highly empowering. As such, it is truly exciting to have a new library in Siloam Springs.”

White said, “The new, open, spacious building just seems to be filled with possibility. As a future teacher, I am thrilled that the students of Siloam will have access to such a great place to study, learn, and grow. Be sure to check out the new library off Jefferson St. and remember, you are never too old to get a library card.”

The grand opening celebration will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will include music, a magician, caricaturists, balloons and snacks, according to the city’s Facebook page. The event is free and open to the public.