Residents have once again demonstrated commitment to maintaining the sought after quality life and services in Harrisburg.
Recently, when presented with the unfortunate news of major cutbacks in the Cabarrus County budget, some residents did not just complain. Instead, they gathered to see what could be done.
One of the most noticeable effects of the cutbacks was the reduction in services and staff at the Harrisburg Branch of the Cabarrus County Library. The branch opened in July 2001 after a group of residents formed The Friends of Harrisburg Library to support bringing a library branch here. Janet Morrison, a Harrisburg native and retired school media specialist, Morrison was asked four years ago to represent the Harrisburg branch on the Cabarrus County Public Library Board of Trustees. The Harrisburg branch has grown steadily in size of collection, programs and usage. According to the Cabarrus County Public Library Statistical Report for February, total circulation was 16,065 items and 94 new library cards were issued.
Along with the other three county libraries, the Harrisburg branch has seen a drastic cut in staffing and hours of operation..
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Prior to the budget cuts in February a few patrons including Viki Hojnacki and Marie Morrison of Harrisburg were working toward revitalizing The Friends of Harrisburg Library group. "I became more and more aware that Friends groups at the other three Cabarrus locations (Concord, Kannapolis, and Mt. Pleasant) were accomplishing a great deal for their branches," Morrison said.
The group was officially reorganized in March after several years of being inactive. Officers are Valerie Dragowski, president; Lisa DiVencinzo, vice president; Teri White, secretary; and Kristy Lampe, treasurer. All are from Harrisburg. In addition, six directors-at-large were appointed to the board: Ellen Bradley, Lois Handy, Viki Hojnacki, Linda Lentz, Janet Morrison and Jane Visconti. "We will have programs and fund-raising events throughout the year," Morrison said.
The Friends group emphasizes the need for patrons to volunteer time and resources. Patrons can shelve books, for example. The Friends are selling bricks engraved with messages to be placed in the front walkway. The bricks sell for $100.
Money raised from membership in the Friends group will provide funding for equipment, materials and programs. Membership is $5 for individuals; $10 for families.
"Harrisburg is a growing community. ... With the support of the Friends group, the Harrisburg Library will continue to serve the people," Morrison said.