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FAXBOX FACTS:

What: Friends of the Myrtle Library Thrift Store.

Where: State Highway 178 in Myrtle, near Myrtle Trailer Park.

When: Open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

How to Help: The store needs donated thrift items, shoppers and monetary donations. To contribute clothing and other items, call Jo Ann Holloway at 988-2780. Tax-deductible donations to the library’s building fund should be sent in care of Edna Gatlin, treasurer of Friends of the Myrtle Library, P.O. Box 34, Myrtle, MS 38650.

Bill Kline

Friends of the Myrtle Library thrift shop volunteers Jo Ann Holloway of Myrtle, left, and Robbie Jones of New Albany sort shoes. Proceeds from the thrift shop go toward the construction of a new branch library for the town.

Volunteers seek funds to build branch library

By Jane Hill

Daily Journal

MYRTLE – The branch library at Myrtle recently got a new lease on life and friends of the public institution can only say they are glad that this lease is for 100 years.

The Union County School District recently leased a third of an acre of land near the Myrtle School to the Union County Board of Supervisors for the purpose of constructing a new library for the town.

District 5 Supervisor Norman Treadaway said the county has dedicated the property, which sits at the corner of Megginson Lane and Bankhead Street in Myrtle, for use as a branch library site.

All that remains is getting the money together to build it.

Currently, the Nance McNeely Library is housed in the back of a business in Myrtle, but the people who pushed hard to have the small branch library reopened after it was closed in 1992, dream of having a permanent, free-standing location for this most important public resource.

Jo Ann Holloway, a staunch library supporter, said the Friends of the Myrtle Library are seeking help in ways, both large and small, of getting the money necessary to construct the library.

Recently the group received a $14,000 donation toward that construction from a Myrtle Library patron who wished to remain anonymous.

Added to the money raised through the Friends of the Myrtle Library Thrift Store, the group currently has almost $25,000 collected for the cause, Holloway said.

Holloway said there are some state grants the county can apply for to help build the library, but added that more support from the local community is needed.

Thrift store woes

Like its reason for being, the library thrift store has had some difficulty keeping its doors open in recent months. The store opened in November 1994 at the corner of Megginson Lane and state Highway 178. But when the building was sold in October, Friends of the Library were hard pressed to find a new location from which to sell the donated clothing, shoes, housewares and knickknacks.

However, a local resident was moving out of a house located a few blocks west on Highway 178 at the same time and the thrift store rented the newly vacated home.

“It’s like everything comes right when we need it and not a minute before,” Holloway said. “We have really been blessed in this effort.”

Holloway said the thrift store is doing well at its present location and nets about $1,000 per month for the library.

“We are getting a lot of support, not only from the people of Myrtle, but from people in Potts Camp and Hickory Flat and Ashland,” she said. “We certainly could not have done it without that support.”

The thrift store sells everything from tap shoes to books, from children’s snow suits to kitchen equipment, and more. The store, in its cozier atmosphere also serves as a gathering place, a sort of home away from home for the many retired volunteers who help run it.

In addition to raising money for the library, the store has extended its resources to help those in severe need, Holloway said.

“We had a teacher come here from a school in a neighboring county and she filled up grocery sacks of clothes for some of her students who didn’t have the proper shoes or clothes or even winter coats to wear to school,” she said. “We let her fill up and only charged her $5 a bag.”

The store is in constant need of more supplies and every donation is greatly appreciated, Holloway said.

“A lot of people have things in their closets and attics that are really too good to throw away, but they will never use them again,” she said. “That is the sort of stuff we are looking for. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. And all the proceeds go to a really good cause.”

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