TEMPERANCE -- Improvements are in store for the Bedford Branch Library.
Officials plan to add six computer stations and lengthen the counter at the circulation desk.
Lois White, community librarian in charge of the branch, said the library's current 13 computers often are all in use.
The circulation desk counter is to be extended by a few feet near the library's main entrance and is to have a curve wrapping around the end.
"Right now, we have only one way to get in and out from behind the circulation desk," Ms. White explained. "This will give us two entrances, making it easier for us to assist library patrons."
The computers will be purchased by the Monroe County Library System, with funds from a $100,000 federal grant that is being spent to improve access to technology at the system's 16 branches, according to Nancy Bellaire, assistant director of the county system.
Ms. Bellaire said the Bedford branch also is to acquire 10 laptops for use in the building, which has a wireless network.
The planned improvements also include another printer, increasing the library's total to three, and grouping the printers into a single, integrated station.
The cost of the renovations is projected to be $30,000, money the library has in its budget, according to Paul Bourque, treasurer of the branch's library advisory board.
This sum includes $8,580 for the computer stations and $12,265 for the circulation desk modification.
Before the project could proceed, it had to get the OK of the township board. As expected, the board gave its approval at a meeting Tuesday night.
The township owns the library building and supports operations with a property tax that generates about $150,000 a year, Mr. Bourque said.
The township board met last week as a committee of the whole at the library, where Ms. White described the project and gave a presentation describing the library's mission and programs. Attending were Supervisor Walt Wilburn and Trustees Gail Hauser-Hurley, Larry O'Dell, Jim Goebel, and Paul Francis. Treasurer Sherri Meyer was occupied with work because of the Sept. 14 tax deadline, and Clerk Bob Schockman is on sick leave.
Ms. White told the elected officials that at least 10 community nonprofit groups use the library for meetings, which were attended by more than 12,000 people last year.
Almost 5,000 people attended library programs in 2011, she continued, and more than 15,000 used library computers. More than 342,000 books and other items were circulated last year.
"We are much more than a library to people," Ms. White said.