Clark County library board considering new location for Village branch

Portion of Southgate Shopping Plaza in Springfield being eyed.

The Board of Trustees of the Clark County Public Library is considering a portion of the Southgate Shopping Plaza in Springfield for the relocation of its Village branch.

The board met at the proposed site, 1857 S. Limestone St. in the vacancy next to the Family Dollar, in a special session earlier this month.

The board ultimately moved to inquire about pricing for the unit.

The special board meeting was a first step for the library’s board of trustees to gather information on potential sites that may work for the library for possible future locations for its branches.

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The Limestone St. location was previously a shoe store, and before that a Rite Aid. The 6,750-square-foot space is owned by Hadler Realty Co.

According to the real estate company, the location would have the potential to service more than 6,000 people within a one-mile radius and nearly 34,500 within a three-mile radius. Nearly 11,500 people under 19 reside within three miles of the proposed location, too, according to Hadler.

The library board is considering the new location for its proximity to schools and the community at large, hoping to make the move roughly six months from now.

The Village branch, at 1123 Sunset Ave. in Springfield, has seen declining circulation even prior to the pandemic, Library Director Bill Martino said, which made library leadership consider other places to reach patrons.

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The Village branch had a circulation of 104,563 reported in 2019 and a circulation of 51,919 reported in 2020, according to Martino.

Clark County Libraries were closed for approximately two months in 2020 due to COVID-19, with re-opening also skewing circulation, as the libraries implemented a curbside-only system in response to the pandemic. Also, hours were limited for several months.

As of the end of July this year, the Village branch had a circulation of 25,536.

Aside from the Village branch, Clark County Public Libraries currently contain multiple branches, with two others in Springfield, one in Enon, and one in South Charleston. The library also utilizes a “bookmobile” that travels around the county.

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The main branch of the library system, at 201 S. Fountain Ave., reported a circulation of 679,119 in 2019 and 352,463 in 2020, with a circulation of 216,012 reported as of July 2021. In addition, the other Springfield location, the Park branch, reported a 2019 circulation of 195,635 and a 2020 circulation of 103,155, with a 2021 circulation of 60,068 as of August.