Beech Grove library ponders Indianapolis merger

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The Beech Grove Public Library is considering a merger that would make it a branch of the Indianapolis Public Library, library officials announced Wednesday.

A merger would "improve the library’s offerings and ensure its long-term ability to serve the needs of its community," while giving "Beech Grove residents access to 25 times more books, 10 times more e-books, and countless other resources," the library said.

The seven-member Beech Grove library board of trustees plans to get public feedback in a meeting at the library June 23 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. before forming a planning committee.

The Beech Grove library has been based in a 17,000-square-foot-building at 1102 Main Street since 1953. The building has been renovated three times over the years, the last time in 2002.

The library has 60,506 print books and 11,551 electronic books, and employs four full-time and six part-time workers. It has an annual budget of less than $1.1 million.

“The only way we’d agree to merge is if we had an agreement that the library would remain open in Beech Grove, all staff would be retained, and that the library would see an increase in available materials, programs and services,” Board President William “Butch” Fennema said in a written statement. “The only changes the public would see would be improvements.”

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