>District asks council for permission to use City Hall chambers part-time
News Editor
   April 23, 2003 — Culver residents might soon have less distance to travel to make excuses for overdue library books.
   Or, rather, cut the trip enough to make excuses a thing of the past.
   The Jefferson County Library District is considering opening a branch in Culver.
   On Monday, the library's executive director, Melanie Lightbody, asked for the city council's blessing to open a part-time branch at City Hall.
   "I should have been here two years ago," Lightbody said to the council, referring to the independence the library gained when it became its own taxing district.
   "It's clear to us that we need to do more for the people of Culver."
   The library is asking to borrow space four to eight times a month, for 16 to 32 hours, to provide books in a small outlet. Lightbody suggested library employees could staff the branch on Tuesdays and Saturdays on four-hour shifts.
   Lightbody was lured to the city council meeting Monday by Jeanie Munson, a Culver resident and substitute teacher who joined her in pitching the idea to the city's governing body.
   "I noticed that we didn't have a library and I've become addicted to the one in Madras," said Munson, who recently moved to Culver. "I felt it could be utilized out here."
   Munson contacted Lightbody in December about the idea.
   Lightbody suggested the project could be six months out. A part-time City Hall branch would only be temporary, she told the council.
   "Our goal would be to get out of this space, but it certainly would be a start for us," Lightbody said.
   Currently, the only sign of the Jefferson County Library District in Culver is a drop box inside The Store. It is the most heavily utilized drop box in the county, Lightbody said, and only underscores the need for more services in Culver.
   Lightbody said the district eventually would like to have its own building in Culver.
   In the meantime, a City Hall branch could provide books and a computer with Internet.
   Culver Mayor Dan Harnden appeared warm to the idea, and told Lightbody he would utilize the city's newsletter to ask for feedback.
   "The only issue would be space," Harnden said. "I wouldn't want to see it there permanently."
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