About 50 people sit on flip-seat chairs of the historic Old Theater in Oriental to see the new county dream with a presentation and video on a large screen that normally displays movies like His Girl Friday and Flash Gordon on Friday nights. The red-velvet curtains framing the presentation hide sets for local community theater groups—this weekend there will be a production of The Wizard of Oz. Before the meeting begins, people catch up with stories of surgeries and illnesses past. Caitlin Kuhn, a self-proclaimed millennial librarian in the county, tells a few librarian jokes with dry wit.
The dream everyone is here to see is a new stand-alone county library. It is not going to be a conventional library, says Kat Clowers, the director of the Craven-Pamlico Regional Library System. It is going to be a technology center, a literary center and an educational center—and a refuge, with a generator, after hurricanes. Currently, the small county library is part of the high school, where technical or physical improvements are not permitted. In a county where there are few centralized places for county organizations, families or teens to gather, this goal of the new library is a big deal.
The nonprofit called Friends of the Library already bought the abandoned Hardee’s in Bayboro for the future library site, just off Highway 55. They will add 5,000 square feet to the window-filled building to include a Wi-Fi café, a technology station, children’s areas, quiet rooms, study rooms, a multi-purpose room, space for exhibitions, community gardens and an entryway fashioned with tall, reaching arms and lines echoing the nets on a shrimp trawler.
The architectural plans were drawn up by local architect Walt Vick. As soon as the money comes in, the Friends of the Library will start to build. The library could possibly have a $2.5 million price tag to account for the high price of construction these days.
But this meeting at the theater isn’t a fundraiser—it is informational. The Friends need people who are good at organizing fundraisers and writing grant proposals to help their skeleton crew. It will take everyone, together, to reach this aim.
A nine-minute video is shown promoting the dream, with community leaders like Barry Monk, the owner of Aggie’s Steak & Subs, and Dr. Rose, a local dentist, talking about the dire need for this new library/community center.
Einstein is also quoted in the video: “The only thing you absolutely need to know is the location of the library.”
If interested in joining Friends of the Library, call (252) 745-3515.
To make a donation to the new library, mail a check to the nonprofit at:
Friends of the Pamlico County Public Library
603 Main St. Bayboro, NC 28515
Or donate online via PayPal at :
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