Preston public library looking to raise money for expansion

PRESTON – In an era when social media and the internet have a tendency to dominate our lives, the library in Preston, Idaho is actually running out of space to house books and reading programs.

Book shelves and children’s reading area inside the Larsen-Sant Public Library, Preston, Idaho

“We are bursting at the seams,” admitted Angela Beckstead, Chairperson of the Library Expansion Committee.

Beckstead is helping steer a fundraising project in an effort to raise $1.5 million to expand the Larsen-Sant Public Library in Preston. The community is growing and so is the need for a larger building.

“The children’s area is too small,” she said. “They have to take books off the shelves when they get new ones in.”

The number of programs at the library have expanded,” Beckstead continued. “They’ve been using the community room for programs. Every time they have one, they have to set up and take it down and that takes away from the community being able to use it. We want to have a room dedicated to just the programs so they can run them all day and not interfere with community meetings.”

The technology lab, which sits right in the middle of the library offers no privacy for students and adults who may have to utilize computers to take a test. A new addition would move the lab to a separate area.

Technology lab inside Larsen-Sant Public Library, Preston, Idaho

The new expansion would also make room for a teen section and digitization area. “Users of the library feel the need for it to expand,” she said.

Raising over a million and half dollars is difficult in a small community where several other fundraisers are on-going. Beckstead said they have applied for a $250,000 grant and are crossing their fingers it will come through.

“Any way we can get the money, really, donations or grants,” she said. “We are going to try and piece it together like a patchwork quilt.”

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