Lepanto residents gather for Goldsby Library dedication

Thursday, June 6, 2002

Tri-City residents gathered Monday morning in Lepanto to honor the work and sacrifice of a former Lepanto resident who was instrumental in the construction of the new public library.

Tommy Goldsby of West Memphis, who has ties to the Lepanto area, was honored with the dedication of a new 2,400 sq. foot library that will serve the educational and reading needs of residents in Lepanto and the surrounding area. The event started promptly at 10 a.m., with several city, private and school leaders in attendance. Gwana Combs started the ceremony, by welcoming everyone to the library. Combs introduced Phyllis Burkett, library director, who thanked Tommy Goldsby and the Goldsby family for their work. Burkett told the crowd of nearly 100 that individuals have worked for the last five years to help build the library. Among those cited, were the Goldsbys, the Stuckeys, Little River Bank, the Portis family, Mary Smith, Sally Hazel, and the Gertrude Cantrell estate.

In an interview with the Tri-City Tribune, Burkett gave an overview of the library project and the work done to help move into the facility. Burkett told the Tribune that work with the Craighead and Poinsett County Libraries intensified in the early to mid 1990's. She stated that in 1992, she asked state government officials to tour libraries in the state and come up with a library plan to improve facilities. Burkett said that in 1995, Poinsett County residents passed a one-mill tax increase to fund improved library facilities in the county. Along with the money, residents in Marked Tree and Lepanto saw a need and formed the Tri-City Cultural Council. The council is in charge of working to renew facilities in the Tri-Cities area, such as the Delta Area Museum in Marked Tree, the Goldsby Library in Lepanto and the new Mitchell-East Building in Tyronza.

The new library, 2,400 sq. feet in length, was funded in part by a USDA loan, totaling $243,000. The brunt of the funding, $217,000 was set aside for construction costs, while $26,000 was set aside for furniture and equipment for the library. The building, which was moved into in one day, has 6,163 books available for readers, access to the Internet and state databases, access to 1,800 magazines throughout the world and has several magazines and newspapers in paper form. Burkett told the Tribune that 40% of Lepanto residents currently have a library card at their disposal.

The Goldsby Library is open Monday through Friday, from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information about the Lepanto Library, call 475-6144 or go online at: http://www.libraryinjonesboro.org.

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