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A new chapter is written as Shady Valley Public Library prepares to open

Ted Gentry drops off donations during a Hometown Service Coalition book drive at Ralph Stout Park on Sunday, September 19. Photo by Tate Davis.

By Tate Davis
Freelance Writer

Book drives to collect material for the future Shady Valley Public Library are rapidly drawing to a successful close as the project nears its grand opening scheduled for Saturday, October 9 at 10 a.m. The facility is located behind the former Shady Valley Elementary School and organizers recently created a Facebook page.

Librarian Sherry Huffman reports the shelves are filling up and the primary need now is monetary donations for card pockets and other final touches before the facility opens to the public next month. In all, some 2,300 books have been collected. The eventual goal is to put about 3,000 books into circulation.

Creating the library has been a long-term goal for Huffman, who retired from 20 years of service for the United States Postal Service. The project is clearly a labor of love that has generated strong support across Johnson County. “You can never have too many true friends or read too many good books,” Huffman said.

Over the past few weeks, a number of area businesses and community organizations worked to gather books for the new library. The BeetRoute Catering Company and Northeast Tennessee Health and Homecare clinic established drop boxes. Goodwill, Women of Mountain City Resource & Empowerment Center and Hometown Service Coalition were among local non-profits that also collected books to advance the project.