Dothan Cuts the Ribbon on Two New Libraries
February 3, 2014
On February 3rd, our city cut the ribbon on two new libraries
fully replacing the 23,000 square foot main branch downtown and establishing a new 13,000 square foot branch library in Westgate Park.
Rabbi Lynne Goldsmith lead the ceremony’s Invocation.
The new libraries are the result of a two-year campaign kicked off in September 2010 with a survey of what residents want their libraries to offer. Survey feedback led to a strategic planning process and resulting service priorities. An expanded, re-energized library board, advised by a nationally-renowned library consultant, met one-on-one with elected officials, community leaders and potential donors. The responding overwhelming financial support has been gratifying and shows a concerted effort to improve the quality of life in Dothan.
The Library Board quickly met the challenge by fundraising $4,500,000 from public and private sources to match a $3,000,000 contribution from the Wiregrass Foundation. The Dothan City Commission voted to support the project with $2,500,000. Houston County Commissioners are contributing $1,000,000 in cash and in-kind services and the Library Board has received donations and pledges of more than $1,000,000 to bring the $7,500,000 project to fruition.
This unprecedented partnership between the City of Dothan, Houston County, the Wiregrass Foundation and generous individuals and corporations is testament to the importance of education in our community, both for residents and for economic development and recruitment. The new spaces will improve access to technology, expand library services and enhance materials and programming available. Fundraising efforts continue to establish an endowment for support of ongoing operations.