The current Ellettsville Branch is a 12,000 square foot building built in 1990 to meet the growing demand for library services in the rapidly expanding western section of Monroe County.
Bookmobile Service to Storefront Branch
From 1929-1968, Monroe County Public Library served Ellettsville with a bookmobile. As the population of the northwest part of Monroe County continued to grow, so too did use of the bookmobile. It became clear to the Library Board of Trustees that a bigger service location was needed in Ellettsvillle. A former grocery store at the corner of Sale and Vine Streets in downtown Ellettsville was remodeled to house the first branch of Monroe County Public Library in 1968. The branch remained in this location for 22 years, growing from an initial collection of 5,000 volumes to crowded shelves holding more than 20,000 books, records audiocassettes, and videos.
New Branch Facility
In December of 1988 a successful county-wide petition drive indicated widespread public support for funding a new branch, and planning began. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on October 8, 1989, and on September 17, 1990, the new branch opened to the public. It is fully handicapped accessible and there is public parking for up to 46 cars.
The branch was built in an open floor plan to be both functional and flexible. The central area includes information and checkout desks. The information desk offers full service reference assistance and guides patrons in the use of the entire collection. The branch meeting room (holding up to 55 people) serves a growing number of library sponsored programs as well as meetings sponsored by nonprofit groups. A children's librarian provides a full range of programs for kids and their families.
As a result of continued growth, the branch was remodeled to increase circulation workspace, modify collection areas and update the public space. This project was completed in spring of 2005. The branch now offers a shelving area where patrons can pick up their own books on hold and patron browsing areas for recently returned materials.
A 2,000 square foot children's room was added to the branch in 2009. Colorful kites made by a local kite maker hang from the soaring ceiling. Built-in window seats provide cozy reading nooks, and two walls of windows fill the room with natural light. Families enjoy the play areas, computer games, and fiction for birth through grade 8.
The Ellettsville Branch Today
The branch has holdings of over 70,000 items. Its annual circulation tops 275,000. In addition to 14 Internet stations, wireless access and productivilty software have become central public services. Programs for all ages are offered at the branch. Comment cards received at the branch are consistently positive about the staff, service, and resources.