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ASHLAND — The Boyd County Public Library opened a new facility Monday morning, one that is nearly three times the size of its former Kyova Branch.

The new Midland Branch is an 18,000-square-foot facility for the library to use and features many elements that open it up to community in a greater capacity than they were able to at its previous location near the Kyova Mall.

“It’s fun, open, welcoming and comfortable and that’s what we were going for. It’s a really flexible space where we can have bigger meetings and more people,” library manager Debbie Cosper said.

The Midland Branch is a large, new innovative space with an all-season outdoor entertainment space, an 100-seat meeting room, dual-sided fireplace and plenty of natural light to brighten up the facility.

On top of the improvements to the aesthetic of the building, the library will be able to increase its inventory of physical materials by around 50% as compared to the Kyova Branch. The library also now has its own bathrooms, instead of having to share them with an adjacent building.

The library will also now offer a makerspace equipped with audio and video recording equipment, two private study rooms and a small business center, as well as a drive-thru pickup service for patrons.

“We wanted it to be accessible to everyone. Young, old, mobile, not mobile — anybody can access this building. It’s easy to get around and there’s a little bit of everything here for anybody,” Cosper said.

“It’s so exciting to finally see this become a reality,” she added. “The new Midland Branch is a wonderful facility for the community to use for years to come.”

Work began in July 2020 on the new facility, which is part of the library’s seven-year strategic plan. Sherman Carter Barnhart Architects developed the plans for the new branch and Trace Creek Construction was contracted to build it.

The Boyd County Public Library is the largest public library in eastern Kentucky with more than 40,000 patrons and three locations: Ashland Branch (1740 Central Ave.), Catlettsburg Branch (2704 Louisa St.), Midland Branch (6686 U.S. 60) as well as the online branch at www.thebookplace.org and a mobile app. For more information, contact the Boyd County Public Library at 606-329-0090.

Luke Creasy is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @LukeCreasy or reach him by phone at 304-526-2800.

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