Education and Workforce Development Cabinet
Carter County to get public funding for library

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, March 17, 2009  
Contact Information:  Contact: Paige Sexton, (502) 226-0669 or (502) 564-8300 ext. 315  


FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 17, 2009) – Residents of Carter County will have better access to books, resources and computers at its first county wide publicly funded library because of an agreement among officials of the cities of Olive Hill and Grayson, Carter County and the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA).

Each city and the county will contribute $18,000 for a total of $54,000 and KDLA will give $25,000 a year to establish the county’s first public library. McCracken County was the last county to establish a public library in Kentucky. There are now 117 public libraries in Kentucky.

The Carter County Public Library is located at the same site as the volunteer library on Mills Street in Olive Hill next to the Olive Hill Adult Basic Education Learning Center. The 1,920-square-foot library was built in 2001 through donations and volunteer labor. There are also plans to expand services with a branch library in Grayson.

“A strong local public library is important to the health of the community and its citizens. It provides a safe, friendly center of learning and access to information and resources for people of all ages. I am pleased that so many Kentuckians use and support their public libraries,” said Gov. Steve Beshear.

With the public funds, Carter County Public Library will be able to hire a full-time paid library director, upgrade computers, and buy books, magazines and other materials. All of the current materials in the library were donated. As of 2006, about 30,000 books were available from the library’s collection and there were about 1,350 library card holders.

“The newly established Carter County Library District, and their Board, will benefit our citizens in so many ways. For example, educational opportunity, work force support, access to funding and other quality of life pursuits will enhance our existing library infrastructure in Grayson and Olive Hill. We are well on the way to realizing benefit from the dream and hard work of library advocates,” said State Representative Robin Webb.

“It’s an exciting new chapter for this wonderful community. They will be able to build on the volunteer library’s foundation by using public resources to enhance services for the citizens of Carter County,” said Wayne Onkst, state librarian and commissioner of KDLA. “The Carter County Public Library now will be eligible for state and federal grants and state consulting services because it has been recognized as a public library by the state of Kentucky and KDLA.”

“Community libraries provide vital free services for everyone. They introduce preschoolers to reading, provide materials on parenting skills, assist school-age students with homework, help individuals prepare for the GED, promote literacy, provide equipment and assistance for job seekers and serve as community centers,” said Onkst.

Community libraries also provide computer access, free Internet service and computer training to citizens across the commonwealth.

“This has been the culmination of a lot of people’s hard work,” said Larry Prichard, president of the library’s board of trustees. “It is our goal that when citizens of all ages enter a library in Carter County they will have available to them a wide array of services just like other libraries in any county.”

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The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives provides equitable access to quality library and information resources and services, as well as helps public agencies ensure that legislatively mandated documentation of government programs is created, efficiently maintained, and made accessible.  For more information on KDLA resources, programs and services visit www.kdla.ky.gov or call 502-564-8300, ext. 315.

KDLA is an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet which coordinates learning programs from P-16, and manages and supports training and employment functions in the Department for Workforce Investment. For more information on our programs, visit www.educationcabinet.ky.gov, or www.workforce.ky.gov, or call 502-564-6606.