Over the last few years, the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library (HMCPL) has been paving the way to open three new branches to replace outdated and overpopulated libraries with larger and more modern facilities. The HMCPL is currently undergoing projects to build new branches for the Bailey Cove, Bessie K. Russel, and Madison branches and hopes to replace them with more adequate facilities. M&B partner, Doug Martinson II, serves as chairman of the Board for the HMCPL.
HMCPL received a $2.5m gift from Redstone Federal Credit Union, which is the largest gift in the Library’s history. The donation is being used to fund the completion of the three major library projects across the county.
Since Grissom High School will be relocating to a new location starting next fall, the HMCPL plans to repurpose part of the Grissom campus to replace the current Bailey Cove branch. Plans for the new 35,000 square foot facility are speeding up, and they have recently hired an architect to design the facility. The projected is projected to be completed by December 2019. The HMCPL is grateful to the du Midi Women’s Club of Huntsville for their $30,000 donation and to Jerry T. and Delores Bosley for their $10,000 donation to the South Huntsville branch. For more in-depth information regarding the timeline and complex plans, there will be a public meeting on July 17 (time TBD) at the old Grissom auditorium with Big Picture Huntsville.
The north Huntsville branch, known as the Bessie K. Russel Library, is too small for the high volume of citizens who use this facility, so the Library is moving next door into the Berachah Center after giving the building some major updates. The Library is raising money for this project, and has currently raised about $3.5 million. due to contributions from the First Missionary Baptist Church Foundation ($250,000), Alabama A&M University Foundation ($50,000), Toyota Manufacturing ($50,000), and Ms. Claudia Conn ($25,000 to North Huntsville Library and a matching $25,000 to South Huntsville Library). However, they still need to raise about $1 million more, so your donations would be greatly appreciated.
Councilman Devyn Keith (D1) will speak at the State of the District Masquerade Ball, featuring a performance by Raheem Devaughn, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 8, at the Roundhouse. A portion of the proceeds benefit the North Huntsville Library. Call 281-798-2407 for tickets.
Since last November, crews have been working on building a new facility for the Madison branch as well, two doors down from the old facility. The new branch will include several new features and amenities that will allow for a more creative and interactive experience at the library in the new 25,000 square foot space.
HMCPL is anticipating the grand opening of its thirteenth branch, the Calvary Hill Public Library, in the ole AAA Magnet School building, which has been repurposed to house the library, as well as Village of Promise, the Boys and Girls Club of Huntsville, and the Greengate School for Dyslexia. The grand opening of this branch is expected in late July, but they are still in the process of determining and gathering the necessary supplies and materials needed for this new branch. Courtney Braggs, the new manager for the Calvary Hills Public Library is working with leaders from the Northwoods housing complex to hold town hall-style meetings for Northwoods residents to make these determinations.
Vive le Livre
The Huntsville Library Foundation (HLF) proudly presents bestselling author Amor Towles as the guest of honor and keynote speaker at HLF’s 31st annual Vive le Livre gala on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at the Jackson Center, 6001 Moquin Dr. The event will begin with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m., followed by a gourmet dinner and keynote address by Towles. Linda Akenhead and Marcie Wingo are co-chairpersons. This year’s event is presented by the James Cecil and Margaret G. Ashburn Foundation.
Towles’ highly anticipated second novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, draws an unforgettable historical portrait of a Russian aristocrat who is sentenced to house arrest inside the luxurious Hotel Metropol for 30 years during the first half of the 20th century. Towles is also the author of the breakout hit debut novel, Rules of Civility.
“Vive le Livre supports programs and initiatives throughout our library system, so we couldn’t be more excited to bring Mr. Towles to our community of library supporters,” said HLF Chairperson Betsy Estopinal.
Tickets start at $125 per person, and all proceeds benefit HMCPL. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit HuntsvilleLibraryFoundation.org. Reservations are required by Sept. 4.