Many questions remain in the minds of residents regarding the sale of the Jacksonville Public Library.
City Manager Greg Smith said a press release on the matter will be forthcoming, within a week or so “is our hope and plan.”
While he was able to answer a few questions in the interim, one thing he could not yet state was who purchased the property.
The unnamed entity buying the library building and land, located at 502 S. Jackson Street, chose that property over other available spaces along the 69 corridor.
“I think the location and the proximity to where it is and it’s a hard corner, that means that there’s a cross street right in front of it, was an ideal location for the developer and what they are wanting to do,” Smith said.
Although the sale takes time and it was known that the public library would relocate into the Norman Activity Center, 526 E. Commerce Street, it was necessary to temporarily place the contents of the library into storage due to two major factors.
The first reason the library could not move directly into its new location is the fact that the Norman Activity Center is in need of renovations prior to occupancy.
“Until the project closes, we will be doing no renovations to the Norman Activity Center,” Smith said. This is due to the fact that proceeds from the sale of the library will pay for the cost of renovation.
Another cause for the delay is the fact that the Norman Activity Center serves as a polling location.
“With the COVID-19 situation that has occurred in the United States, we are allowing the county to use the Norman Center for their voting location in Jacksonville,” Smith said. “It’s a much larger building. It allows a lot more availability to spread the voting machines out and allow for social distancing in a better situation for voters who want to come vote in person.”
Further details regarding the library sale were not given at this time.
The Jacksonville Public Library closed September 21 and is due to reopen in spring 2021.
To speak to a library staff member regarding fines, renewing cards or for other questions, call (903) 586-7664.
The Rusk Public Library, also known as the Singletary Memorial Library, offers its services to Jacksonville residents. The Rusk library is located at 207 E. 6th Street and a library card can be obtained free of charge.
To contact the Rusk Public Library, call (903) 683-5916.