Eudora Welty’s 114th Birthday is celebrated amid library relocation plans

Published: Apr. 13, 2023 at 5:49 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - If you’ve walked inside the Eudora Welty Library, you have entered one of the top five most visited spots in downtown Jackson.

Plans are underway to find a new home for the nearly 40-year-old hub for tourists, researchers, and avid readers. Managers across the Jackson Hinds Library System celebrated what would be Eudora Welty’s 114th birthday while making plans for a future location.

“Possibly the last time that our management group will meet in this building,” said Jackson Hinds Library System Executive Director Floyd Council.

The library has been located on State Street since 1986. Years of wear and decline are prompting the move from the 45,000 square foot building.

It houses more than 100,000 books and other materials and over 100 computers.

“I have a dream as does my board for a beautiful state of the art library facility downtown,” said Council. “It’s the early planning phases. There isn’t a particular building that has been locked in, but there are many considerations being explored.”

The library system is seeking up to $5,000,000 dollars in federal funding and $2,000,000 from the state for the relocation.

“Anytime the library can get more money. it’s ok with me,” said Dr. William Hanigan.

The retired neurosurgeon visits the library at least once a week. He’s perused the shelves throughout his lifetime for research and mystery novels.

“Libraries are extremely important,” said Hanigan. “They’re not gonna go away, and they should be supported completely.”

The process has started to box and store the huge collection for transition.

“Shout out to the librarians and the archivists, because I couldn’t do what I do without their help,” added Hanigan.

The library is expected to close its doors in 60 to 90 days.

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