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Elgin soon to get bigger, better library

ELGIN  The Elgin Community Library will have a new, larger location as early as this summer.

The library has been bursting at the seams for some time at its current location, next to Town Hall on 8th Street. Librarian Leslie Durham has worked to expand the library's book offerings and introduced many new programs that have increased its exposure in the community. With that additional exposure comes additional people  a problem for a library that only has around 1,100 square feet.

"We can have some really tight spaces in here when we get people in," Durham said. "When we have story time, we'll have 15-20 children with their parents and guardians and everyone else. We've had more than 100 people in here at one time. We're packing people in the aisles just to get everyone in."

The Town of Elgin last year instructed Durham to begin to look for land that could be developed to build a new, larger library facility. The search was short lived because a resident stopped by the library and saw how cramped the facilities were.

"She came in and looked around and said 'You need a bigger building,'" Durham said. "And I was like, 'I know.' And she says she might have something for us."

Joyce and Jim McDonald were the owners of a vacant building on Thoma Drive, behind the Dollar General and other businesses that line U.S. 277. It was formerly used as a day care facility, but has set abandoned for some time.

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