Bill Vander Weele | Sidney Herald Builders Club members donating books at the Sidney-Richland County Library include, front from left, Aurora Backer, Maci Nelson, Lexi McShane-Rang, Kara Nay, Avery Hazen, MJ Berg and Melayna Albert; second row, Burton Pollari, Savanna Juarez, Abigail Schilling, Riley O’Donnell, Makayla Sparks, Ella Norby and Shaniah Painter; back, Emma Cundiff, Garrett Larson, Thia Danielson, Corben Holler, Cooper McNally, Drew Ellingson, Izaak Yockim, Justin Filler, Anna Allen, Emma Doty, Tristyn Brost, Sophie Peters, Lean Entz, Kendyl Wacha, and Lily Jones. Not pictured are  Builders Club advisors Mrs. Allen and Miss Palm.

After conducting a few fundraisers, the Builders Club of Sidney Middle School has donated 30 books to the Sidney-Richland County Library for its new upcoming youth area.

“We are so fortunate to have individuals and organizations like the Kiwanis Builders Club. They step up and ensure our library can answer the growing needs of the community,” Kelly Reisig, library director, said. “They are the future leaders of eastern Montana.”

The library will undergo an expansion and remodel in 2019. Reisig said the ongoing expansion is the direct result of community support. The bidding process is expected to begin in March.

During the past 18 months, the library has registered 507 new patrons. For fiscal year 2018, 43,368 items were checked out from the library.

“As both a library board member and patron, I have experienced first-hand the central role of this library in our community. Although it’s been a longer wait than expected, we are so excited about this upcoming renovation,” said Robin Hernandez, library trustee chair.

The renovation will begin with the basement by adding a handicapped accessible elevator. The newly modernized library area downstairs will feature a new children’s area, classroom and second circulation area. Currently, all programs are held upstairs and each time staff members need to move bookshelves, tables and chairs to make room in the only space available. The new classrooms will offer space to host children’s activities, teen programs along with programs for adults.

There will be new restrooms both upstairs and downstairs. The movement of the children’s area will bring about several changes upstairs as a result of the extra space created. Quiet area computers, a Montana history reference room and an enlarged young adult area will offer additional services for all ages. Finally, the parking lot will be re-paved and extended on the southeast side. Angled parking will be increased in front of the library. Adjustments will be made to match the courthouse’s landscaping to complete the project.

“The library is a community center for its diverse patrons,” Mark Gaffri, library patron, said. “The addition and modifications of facilities will give more patrons the ability to use and enhance the programs the library offers. This will enable the diverse use and enjoyment by the public for years to come.”

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