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Ector County library advisory board gives update on library at Commissioners Court meeting

If approved, Ector County could bring in an outside firm to help them make decisions regarding the library.

ODESSA, Texas — Improving The Ector County Library is in desperate need of repairs, and improving it has been a long process.

The Ector County Commissioners Court has been trying to come up with a game plan for months.

This was a topic of conversation that continued on Tuesday's commissioner's court meeting.

Randy Ham, Chairman for the Ector County Library Advisory Board, said part of their planning includes getting public input.

He says the process of examining the upgrades and developments on what happens to the library is more than the advisory group can handle. 

Therefore, they are looking for the help of the county to hire a consulting firm to offer feedback to address library improvements.

"We landed on The Ivy Group because they talk about a more holistic approach which is more than the bricks and mortar or repairing or rebuilding," said Ham. "It's really about your staffing, your location services, and what we offer that is or could be antiquated."

This consulting service could cost the county about $60,000 to $70,000 if approved by the commissioners court.

"That consultation budget includes on-site workshops with the library staff, it calls for public forums, a phone survey and even interviewing the commissioners individually," Ham said.

Ham believes this is essential for the upgrading of the library as the commissioners make the day-to-day decisions of the library, especially for those financial decisions.

Another decision commissioners need to make is to consider making the Ector County Library Advisory Board becoming permanent.

"If we do this project and have a fantastic new library, I don't want to be back here in 30 years talking about fixing the plumbing again," said Ham. "If we have a permanent library advisory board the commissioners are updated about the needs of the library regularly."

Ham told NewsWest 9 making improvements to the library will be a long process. For now, he encourages anyone to visit the library and offer any feedback they feel would improve the facility.