The location of the VBC Library has just moved from its original site on Shake Rag Road to its state-of-the-art 11,000-square-foot new facility on Factory Road, just off Hwy 65 by Warren Wellness and the Red River Golf Course. This is largely due to the support of Don & JoNell Warren, White River Planning & Development, First Service Bank, Judge Hooper, Quorum Court, the VBC Friends of the Library and to many of our devoted patrons.
The library opened in 1949, and provides many services for our community including audiobooks, magazines, computers, printing, copy/fax service, genealogy research, microfiche, books including fiction, non-fiction, textbooks & reference books for sale, and summer reading programs with a full calendar of youth activities. We are excited for the opportunity to expand the services offered to our community, with new amenities such as a 3d printer. We invite you to come visit us!
Originally published in the Van Buren County Democrat Gazette
The Van Buren County Library is celebrating one year in its new home on Factory Road and has been serving Van Buren County for the past sixty eight years. The VBC Library, founded in 1949, was originally located in the Legion Hut Building (an old log cabin where the fire department is, at the corner of Main St and Highway 65B). It housed the Library for 20 plus years until the mid seventies, when it was moved to the west side of the courthouse square. The move downtown seemed to be a good fit with the benefit of foot traffic for local business and the convenience to local merchants customers of having the library in the commercial center of Clinton. The flood of 1982 destroyed the majority of the Library’s collection and forced the board to look for higher ground.
In early 1983, the Library purchased Bintliff’s Drug Store just south of the Van Buren County Annex Building on Highway 65, and would remain there until the building of our new library on Factory Road.
If one was to visit our local library, they would find not only the normal items you would expect – books, movies, books on tape – but would also find that they are giving back to the public with a number of outreach programs. They offer children’s programs Mondays after school till seven, toddler time Tuesdays at 10:00 and Thursdays at 3:00, computer classes on Wednesday; they provide books to the inmates and have a number of youth activities organized through Andrea and her teen advisory board. The Library also offers copies, faxes, notary, tax forms, 3D printer, community room, and a large selection of microfilm including Fairfield Bay News, Van Buren County Democrat and the Banner Mountain News dating back to 1819.
While public outreach programs and a new building are easily visible, there are a number of programs that get overlooked but are just as important to the functionality. The Van Buren County Library is part of a state designated region that includes Van Buren and Faulkner Counties. The VBC Library joined this region in 1959 and benefits from its membership include joint training, staff and book sharing, and state aid. Coupled with this membership the library receives a 1 mill millage which has allowed for sustainability and modest growth until the mid 2000’s when taxes derived from natural gas revenue allowed for the building of the new VBC Library location on Factory Road.
Karla Fultz, our local librarian administrator, has been with the Van Buren County Library since 1996 and has seen a number of changes. She feels that her state of the art facility and experienced staff the VBC Library are poised to make a difference in our community.
<3>Movie Nights | Minecraft Club | TeenChallenge
The new Van Buren County Library was open as of March 1. This is an 11,000 square foot library with State-of-the-Art technology. This is a fulfillment of a 67-year old dream but more important a commitment to higher education in our County.
The Van Buren County Library started in 1949 with the establishment of the library in one third of the Legion Hut, later moved to the Old Clinton State Bank Building in 1967 until the great flood of December, 1982. Then in 1983, the Library Board purchased the old Clinton Drug Store building and added to the building in 1993 (approximately 3,000 square feet). This remained as the Van Buren County Library until February, 2016.
A dedication was held on March 29, 2016, with 250-300 in attendance. In the month of April, attendance was up from 4,074 average per month to 6,232 attendance in April, 2016. Also, the Summer Reading Program has a full 2-months (June & July) of different youth activities.
In my closing remarks at the dedication, “Let us use this dedication to be an example of our commitment to promote higher education not only for our generation but for the prosperity of future generations.” I believe this library is a start to promoting higher education.