The Stanley and Elaine Ball Charitable Foundation granted the Taneyhills Library $350,000 Wednesday morning to renovate the children’s area and to create a technology conference room.
Taneyhills Library Board Chairman Kenton Olson said the children’s library is what needed to be refurbished the most.
“Our future is in our children, so we thought it was appropriate that it would be the children’s library that we would emphasize. And the one area of the library that I think that gets a lot of use and needed some real updating,” Olson said.
Olson said he hopes the renovation will get children excited about going to the library again, as well as make the library appealing to older children such as tweens and teens.
“Our intention really is to create this as a destination for young families and children. A place where it’s a go-to place that children will beg their parents to bring them to the children’s library. This is a place where we can begin to foster a love of books and learning.”
The second part of the reconstruction will be creating a state-of-the-art technology conference room that will feature laptops, charging stations, a smart board, a big screen TV and conference phones.
“There’s a 20-by-30-foot area that will be converted into the technology room ... I think it will provide a great facility for use by home-schoolers, business seminars, training sessions and discussion groups. Hopefully that will be a draw to the library, as well,” Olson said.
Olson said this would not have been made possible without the generosity of the Stanley and Elaine Ball Charitable Foundation.
“We are extremely grateful to the committee of that foundation for recognizing our need and the willingness to fund it.”
Belief and passion for what the upgrades could do for the library were what impressed the foundation committee in making the decision to grant the money.
“One thing that really impressed our committee was the passion of the people that came and presented to us. And your belief that this library could really be a game changer for your community,” said Jami Peebles, committee member and vice president of Central Trust Co.
“We really believe that and we believe that reading to young people is really important and can be a great asset for your community,” Peebles said.
Olson hopes that this will also generate more funds and gain more support from the community.
“Our day-to-day operations are dependent upon the gifts from the community, not only the donations to the thrift shop and to the bookstore,” Olson said. “By the way, those two areas, primarily the thrift, provide 75 to 80 percent of the budget to this library.”
Olson said he hopes this will also bring in more volunteers, since the library runs almost entirely on volunteers.
“We are tremendously dependent upon our volunteers. We couldn’t exist without them. We hope that this helps to bring in more volunteers. We will need more to help with the children’s library (and) to help with the technology room in terms of adult volunteers that will help generate programs and other activities.”
“It is our hope that all of this will put this library back on the map, that it will increase our visibility and the use of the library,” Olson said.
According to Peebles, Stanley Ball, who was once mayor of Branson, was a generous person.
“Stanley was, he was like part of our Central Trust/Central Bank family ... In his estate planning, he left enough to take care of his family, and then left the rest to do amazing things like this for the communities that were so good to him.”
Taneyhills Library Director Phil Endicott is looking forward to the renovation and said the library fits into one of the categories, children’s literacy, that Stanley Ball wanted to give money toward.
“This is encouraging to get this gift,” Endicott said.