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South Branch of Library Moving to Mall

(Photo by Joy Bonala) Members of the organization, Friends of The Abilene Public Library, celebrate Thursday after members of the Abilene City Council vote to move the library's south branch to the Mall of Abilene.
(Photo by Joy Bonala) Members of the organization, Friends of The Abilene Public Library, celebrate Thursday after members of the Abilene City Council vote to move the library's south branch to the Mall of Abilene.

People rejoiced after the Abilene City Council voted unanimously Thursday to move the south branch of the Abilene Public Library to the Mall of Abilene.

Size constraints and plumbing problems have been an issue at the current location, 1401 South Danville. City Librarian Lori Grumet said the new space will be four times the size of the current building. 

“It’s so nice to see the council completely in favor of something that is a little beyond the comfort zone of some of the citizens in the community,” Grumet said. “We’re just really confident it’s going to be a fantastic site, wonderful library location and it’s going to be a place that people want to come even if they’ve never been to the library before.”

Several members of the City Council echoed the idea that having a library in the mall might draw in more people who wouldn’t otherwise visit the library. South Branch Manager Tremain Jackson said he already has big plans for the new location.

“We have so many ideas at the south branch for more services to offer to adults because we’ve been focused on kids, now we’re going to move and get them all,” Jackson said.

Friends of the Abilene Public Library plans to give half a million dollars toward the move. President Carry Cassida said the group has letters going out to foundations to raise even more.

“Libraries are the great equalizer,” Cassida said. “It doesn’t matter who you are, how much money you make, what you title is, how many degrees you have or what your background is, you can go into a library for free and get something to improve your life.”

The new space is expected to open in January.