It has been 20 some odd years since Monica Edwards has traveled the hills and hollers of Fountain Run, but she said that she felt like she was coming home on Monday, March 11, when she once again drove those roads to address the Fountain Run City Commission.
Growing up in Glasgow and Barren County, with all of her grandparents in Metcalfe, she fondly remembers trips to Monroe County for a “Dovie burger fix,” as her step-father loved the local hamburger joint, located just down the road from what would someday become her new place of employment as the new librarian at the William B. Harlin Library.
Now, all those years later, she felt drawn to Monroe County — not just for those famous squeezed burgers — but for the finishing touches to months of ongoing construction made possible by an expansion and renovation grant. From the outside, the gold- bricked building may not look much different, but stepping inside is quite a shock.
In May, on a date yet to be announced, an open house will be held for guests to view the additions such as a much-needed and anticipated elevator, updated bathrooms, a new children’s library, a genealogy room and several meeting rooms, offices and project rooms where outreach programs for children to adults will be held.
Edwards plans to start a volunteer program, reaching out to the tween and teen programs already in place such as the Monroe Youth Theatre and the 4H Teen Club.
The popular Summer Reading Program that usually lasts two weeks in the summer will be extended with an unannounced big event to be held in July.
She also hopes to bring the weekly preschool story time and family night’s back to their previous glory and get children and adults alike excited about literacy. Authors will be brought in and they will be going out more to deliver books to daycares, as well as adults who may be homebound or not have a way to come to the library. She has also applied to have a rural exhibit through the Smithsonian.
“The library needs to be the center of the community for info, resources and everything centering around the family and community,” she explained, continuing, “I am so thankful to the Harlins for donating this wonderful asset to the community in 1966 and I am so glad to be a part of it’s continuing success.”
Edwards and her crew plan to partner with as many community agencies as possible, reaching to all areas of the county.
She has plans to travel to Gamaliel to speak with Commissioners regarding bringing the bookmobile to town as well as many other outreaches. She also wants to include all of the communities in the county from Mud Lick to White Oak Ridge.
What better place to start that than the Fountain Run area, known as the “crossroads of three counties; Barren, Allen and Monroe, where she attended the meeting recently. With the upcoming BBQ Festival, to be held in May, Edwards was excited to see just what she could do for Fountain Run.
Mayor Larry Shaw was excited to see her, saying, “Whatever you come up with is fine by me.” Commissioners agreed as Gabriel Knudson suggested the Bookmobile be a feature in the parade. Edwards, surprised at first, expressed concern that the size of the mobile library might be too much for the parade, but Knudson laughed “We have fire trucks in it, we’d love to have it, come on down!”
The Bookmobile will not only be a feature in the parade but will soon have Fountain Run as a stop on its weekly trip, at the parking lot of the fire hall. Edwards noted that anyone else in the county who may be interested in the bookmobile coming to an area close to them may contact her.
Watch for continuing updates on the Open house, the grand reopening, the Summer Reading Program and many other new events with something planned at least monthly. For more information on the library and the programs it offers, call 270-487-5301 or see their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/harlan.memoriallibrary.