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Friends of the LaFayette-Walker County Library hosting fundraiser Feb. 3

The Friends of the LaFayette-Walker County Library invite everyone to attend a fundraiser Sunday, Feb. 3 from 2-4 p.m., ending in plenty of time for attendees to make it home for the Super Bowl. The event is being held at the library’s satellite location in the former Food Lion Shopping Center in LaFayette; the library downtown is under construction.

“The [county’s] libraries are suffering through budget cuts because of the country’s economic status,” said Ron Erwin, president of the nonprofit fundraising group. “We ask for the support of all local citizens interested in good home-baked food and door prizes.”

Auction paddles are $5 each, but the amount is refunded if the person purchases anything.

The auction items were donated by local businesses, and local women’s clubs are providing refreshments.

“It’s a major fundraising event for the Friends,” said Erwin. “A new Roper GE flat-surface stove and a barbecue grill with accessories were donated to the live auction.”

A silent auction is also being held through Feb. 3 at the downtown branch of the Bank of LaFayette. Theme baskets available for bidding include a bath and body basket; a wine, cheese and cutting board basket; a casserole dish with iron server and recipes basket; and many more. Baked items such as cakes are also up for grabs via the silent auction.

“People suffering in these economics times count on the library for services,” said Erwin, whose daughter is Cherokee Regional Library Director Lecia Eubanks. “People have been laid off. It’s sad.”

The LaFayette Library under construction is being completed using free prison labor. Qualified construction supervisors are overseeing the renovations. Even though the labor is free, tool rental and equipment purchases will be costly, said Erwin. New wiring, rooms, plumbing and a roof have already been added.

“It’s a brand new building that is really something to be proud of,” Erwin said.

According to Eubanks, the two-year construction project that began in October 2011 will continue until September. Once renovations are complete, the library will boast 27,000 square feet, a 7,000-square-foot addition.

“It’s been surreal to build up our library while our budget is torn down,” said Eubanks. “While we are sorely lacking in operating funds, the capital funds are there for construction. It’s two different budgets.”

She said the state of Georgia donated $2 million toward the renovations. The city of LaFayette also contributed $500,000 from SPLOST funds toward the project. Walker County is set to contribute $1.3 million.

That still leaves the LaFayette Library a shortfall of $200,000.

Eubanks said the Friends of the Library are launching a naming opportunity for community members too. People can memorialize a loved one or name a room after a business in the library for $2,000-$50,000.

“About 70,000 people in a year come through the LaFayette Library, so it’s a great opportunity for a business to get their name seen by a lot of people,” said Eubanks. “Donations are tax deductible, so people can write it off on their taxes.”

The newly renovated library will have new services such as a teen center, booths, a lounge and study rooms. The Community Room will be able to seat 100 people in chairs. An expanded area with auditorium-style seats will be added for the Ready to Read Story Hour.

The new library will have 24 computers and 15 mobile laptops. About 65,000 physical books can be checked out and 2,491 electronic books can be read via computer in the library.

“A library is highly loved,” said Eubanks. “What better way to help a community than to help a library? Your access to books and information should not be based on your ability to pay, so that’s why the library is so important.”

• To learn more about the LaFayette-Walker County Library renovations, visit the library’s blog at http://lafayettelibraryexpansion.blogspot.com. The LaFayette-Walker County Library can also be found on Facebook. The library’s satellite spot in the former Food Lion Shopping Center is open Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To learn more call 706-638-2992.

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