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New Lane Library looks to community for funding

About 50 interested Oxford Lane Library patrons attended a presentation announcing plans for the new library on April 10. After five months of finalizing those plans, ground broke in September on the old Walmart site. The new and improved public library was finally underway.

In addition to new student housing being built at the Locust Street location, the new library is also under construction and along with the apartment complexes, is set to be complete by August 2015.

According to Oxford Lane Library Campaign Chair Laura Cohen, the new library will be approximately twice the size of the present library. Unlike the previous library, located on South College street, there will also be more accessible parking for guests. The new library will feature a striking new exterior, an expanded Smith Library for Regional History, a dedicated teen area, a drive through book deposit and pick up window and a brand new reading garden.

"One area that will be particularly attractive to families with young children will be the highly interactive children's section," Cohen said.

According to the written plans for the new library, there will be three distinct learning sites, which will allow children to appreciate the unique qualities of the Oxford area. One learning section will focus on Oxford's Uptown, a second will feature the university and a third will present the farm and country area of our community.

"The plans include interactive activity panels that will make coming to the library a fun and entertaining learning experience," Cohen said.

The Board of the Friends of Oxford Lane Library has to date contributed $20,000 to a special fund that will support the new library. The board has also come up with several fundraising ideas in order to raise even more money in the future. Bob Johnson, a former Miami faculty member and president of the board, has helped oversee these fundraising efforts.

"The board has undertaken a fund raising campaign for the new library," Johnson said. "We have asked individuals to purchase a brick to cover amenities not included in the construction budget."

The board decided a way individuals and businesses can contribute to this fund is by purchasing an engraved brick to be placed in the new reading garden. There will be approximately 500 bricks in the garden area. Each brick can be purchased for $100 and engraved with three lines of text identifying you or your business as a supporter of the new library. There will also be several planters in the garden that can be similarly personalized for a contribution of $500.

According to Cohen, the goal for the new branch of Lane Library is to provide a major resource for the greater Oxford community.

"I think the new location is excellent for students and community members," senior Cassie Priebe said. "I used to live over by where the new branch is being built and it will be a great resource for future students in that area."