Monday, March 01, 2010

Eagle Rock Library

In mid-April, Botetourt County will open a new library in Eagle Rock. Eagle Rock is in the northern end of the county and is very rural. The county has not built anything new in that area since about 1976, when it constructed the elementary school.

The library is over 9,000 square feet and will offer a meeting room that is accessible from the outside (so it can be used any time and not just when the library is open) with accessible restrooms, a computer lab, a local history/genealogy area, a children's area, an adult reading area, and a smaller meeting room, plus staff offices.

It will open with a collection of 12,000 books.

This afternoon a few members of the Library Board of Trustees, a supervisor, the county administrator and others toured the facility.

The library has a rustic look. It was built with the area in mind. It sits amidst mountains and across from the James River. We (Library Board of Trustee members) wanted it to look like it belonged there.

This is the rear of the building.

The doors on this side open into the meeting room. The meeting room can be used 24/7 and library staff need not be there. This arrangement is similar to what already takes place at the Fincastle Library, so we know it can work.

The front of the building. It has a lot of glass and a clear story, which is a high upper story with windows.

Library Director Steve Vest, in the middle, explains things to County Administrator Jerry Burgess on the right and Library Board of Trustee member Ruth Ann Assaid on the left.

The entrance area is pretty impressive.

This is what everyone was looking at.

The book shelves were installed last week and are waiting on books. Michael Hibben on the left is the new branch librarian. He will work with Steve Vest (right) to catalogue and shelve books and acquire additional staff. "It is not a good time to be staffing and opening a new facility," County Administrator Jerry Burgess said during our tour today. His remark was made in response to a query about hours and staffing.

This is the computer lab room. Pictured from left: Donna Vaughn, the Fincastle District Supervisor, Steve Vest, Library Director, Ruth Ann Assaid, Library Board of Trustee representative for the Valley District, and Michael Hibben, Eagle Rock Branch Librarian. There will be 11 computers in this room and free WiFi for the public. Some of the furniture has not yet arrived, obviously.

Empty shelves! Soon they will be full of books.

For those who may not know, I serve on the Botetourt County Library Board of Trustees, which oversees library operations. I was appointed as the Amsterdam District representative in 2002 to fulfill someone else's term and then appointed to two consecutive four-year terms and I will be serving until 2012. I am the second longest-serving member on the board and have served as chairman, vice chairman and presently am chief trouble-maker and rabble-rouser. All of the library board members worked with the county and the architect to build the finest library we could for the money budgeted.

In fact, the project is well underbudget, thanks to a competitive construction period.


  1. That is an impressive library! It will be a huge asset to the community. We have a small library in my town that I rarely visit. I have already read almost all the books on the shelves, and the few new books they get are all for children. I would love to have a nice library close by.

  2. That's a beautiful building and it has created a beautiful space in which people can choose and read books, as well as meet one another. Bravo!

  3. I love libraries and this new one is beautiful. You're right, the architecture does "fit". Can't wait to visit!

  4. A very nice building and a gorgeous setting---it really does blend well with the surroundings. I know the folks in that area will be excited to have such a nice library nearby. I've often lived in the most rural areas, so I know how welcome a facility like this must be.

  5. Having moved alot of times in my life, libraries in your new digs are usually the best resource of all for unbiased information about your community... Books will always be your friends, and in Botetourt, the library staffers are welcoming, informative, hard-working and proud of their library. Welcome to Mr.Hibben and this fantastic new library...the best new thing our county decided on in several years.


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