SWISHER — On a summer’s evening about eight years ago, a young man named Tobin Hoover approached people at an outdoor movie with a petition and an idea. He wanted to see a library in Swisher.
Tobin finally saw his wish come true on a recent chilly winter morning as the Swisher Community Library officially celebrated its opening in the former Swisher Telephone Company building, on Feb. 6, with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
“This is a day we’ve been working toward for eight years, and it’s here now!” said Laura Hoover, Tobin’s mother and president of the Jefferson-Monroe Friends of the Library, in front of a packed house.
“We’re just so excited,” Vice-President Lou Serbousek said. “We just never thought we’d have all this.”
Ever since Tobin’s petition, a group of volunteers had scoured the Swisher area looking for a suitable building to occupy. There was even talk of purchasing land and constructing a building. Then, the Swisher Telephone Company building became available.
“Its like they built it for us,” Hoover said of the structure. “It’s perfect.”
The group quickly shifted from years of planning and dreaming to weeks of organized chaos.
Office furniture and cubicles were removed and walls were painted. A collection of books that had been accumulating at a number of storage sites was moved, sorted and tagged. Shelves and other library furniture had to be obtained, dismantled, moved and reassembled.
The volunteers themselves had to undergo training in how to run a library.
Through it all, the community has supported them.
“Everybody seems so anxious and excited,” Serbousek said, “and that gets you excited.”
“This is what your kids get you into,” Hoover joked.
Tobin, along with Mayor Scott Grabe, cut a ceremonial ribbon officially opening the facility.
“This is a welcome addition to the community,” Grabe said, noting he was “…probably one of the first to sign” Tobin’s petition of eight years ago.
Though open, work still remains. A $3,000 grant from Cargill will be used to obtain more furniture for the children’s room while a $2,000 grant from the Swisher Trust and Savings Bank will supply furniture in the adult room.
The operation is thoroughly modern thanks in part to a $2,500 grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust for an automation system in use at the circulation desk.
The volunteers said they are still very much seeking donations of books, money, and time.
“It’s been so much fun!” Serbousek said.
The library is located at 72 Second Street, next to City Hall and is open Tuesday and Thursday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, call (319) 857-4090 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .