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Library focuses on access for community members

Feb. 24—For director April Wise, the librarians and the staff at the Athens-Limestone County Public Library, the library is becoming a place, of course, for books but also for access and community connections.

"While books and reading will always be at the core of the library's mission, we are increasingly becoming a place where community connections are formed and fostered. The library strives to play a vital role in providing access to information, education, culture, and community resources for all residents, regardless of their background or circumstances. Athens and Limestone County are growing very rapidly, our challenge will be to grow with it," Wise said.

In 2023, the library worked to expand the variety of books and authors available in the library, especially local authors, because according to Wise, "Limestone County has some majorly talented writers."

It has also formed partnerships to strengthen community ties. This can be seen in its events as well as its launching of four podcasts and providing space to the Athens Mayor's Youth Commission to create a fifth. These podcasts include Homegrown History, Alright Athens, Mind Your Business, Talkin' Dirty at the Library and the youth commission's All in with Athens.

Looking to 2024, Wise wants to continue increasing the variety of the programs offered in the library. From the youth services staff to the community programs, Wise promises that ALCPL, "will continue to build on those successful programs and work to strengthen our community partnerships to help highlight all the wonderful services and programs available to the citizens of Athens and Limestone County."

Wise is hopeful for the growth of Limestone County and confident in her library's ability to help support it.

"The library has seen a steady increase in library card holders, circulation, computer and WiFi usage, study room usage, and program attendance over the past year. ... Athens and Limestone County are growing very rapidly, our challenge will be to grow with it," Wise said.