JMRL Nelson Memorial Library Expansion and Renovation Under Way

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Larry Saunders, Jessie Rutherford, Tommy Bruguiere, and Ernie Reed, Board of Supervisors; Krista Farrell, Assistant Director JMRL; Jim Vernon, Architect; Kevin O’Brien, Jamerson Lewis Construction Co.; Tanith Knight and Susan Huffman, JMRL.

The Nelson  County Board of Supervisors held a groundbreaking ceremony on July 9 at the Jefferson Madison Regional Library (JMRL) known locally as the Nelson Memorial Library on Route 29 in Lovingston.  Construction is expected to be completed over the next year and the library will remain open throughout that time.

Susan Huffman, the JMRL branch manager for Nelson Memorial Library, explained the concept. “In 1987 a volunteer group of county citizens, along with the Board of Supervisors, committed money to build the original library facility for Nelson County. The funding began with a portion of the proceeds from the book Torn Land, written by Pauline and Jerry Simpson about the 1969 flood after Hurricane Camille. Now in 2019, the 50th anniversary of the hurricane and flood, the library is once again growing to meet the community’s needs.”

An expansion of the Nelson Memorial Library in Lovingston is under way. Photo: Mary Cunningham.

 “The decision to expand the library was based on the increase in circulation and usage of the library’s many services,” Huffman added. “Through the generous support of the Nelson County Board of Supervisors, the library will add additional space, as well as update and renovate the existing footprint. The new space will include larger areas for children and young adults. It will also have three reading areas for adults, one of which is a “quiet” area. Most importantly, the space will include a computer lab and a business center manned by volunteers at least two days a week to help with resumes, job applications, tips on job searches, and skyping capacity for interviews.”

Funding for the project, estimated at over $2 million, is provided by the county financing through Virginia Resources Authority from the sale of bonds with a 10-year term. Those funds are for the renovated and expanded building and all furniture. 

The Grow Nelson Library committee has begun to raise the funds for additional books and media equipment for the new space. The goal is $500,000. The project has received the balance of the Torn Land Fund—approximately $18,000—a $4,000 grant from the Community Foundation of the Blue Ridge, $30,000 from the Friends of Jefferson Madison Regional Library and $100,000 from the Friends of Jefferson Madison Regional Library endowment fund.  

For more information and to make a contribution or buy a book for the library, visit grownelsonlibrary.org. 

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