Due to growth in the area, the Baxter County Public Library Foundation decided it was time to expand into a new facility. For three years, Baxter County Public Library worked through a deliberative planning process for a new library. These efforts were rewarded when the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation awarded a grant of $9.8 million to build, furnish and equip a 35,500 square foot two-story library in Mountain Home, Arkansas.
With a modern, more user-friendly facility, the Donald W. Reynolds library has more than doubled the number of books, and anticipates a 50 to 100 percent increase in patron visits.
The expansion allows space for their book collection to grow along with the county population; provides a dedicated children’s library, a teen library and reading areas and provides access to more than 35 computers. In addition, plans include a coffee shop, larger well-equipped community meeting rooms and a special genealogy section. Space was also planned for the Twin Lakes Literacy Council, the Friends of the Library and the Library Foundation office.
Sustainable design practices have been used to increase the building’s energy efficiency, and a ground source geothermal mechanical system will reduce energy bills for long-term operation.