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Co-op’s safety program supports lighting for Libby library

| February 3, 2023 12:00 AM

At its January meeting, the Roundup for Safety Board awarded $5,000 to the Libby Friends of the Library for community safety lighting upgrades.

The Lincoln County Library building in Libby, constructed in the early 1950s, is owned and operated by the county but supported financially in many ways by the nonprofit Libby Friends of the Library. As the years have passed, the basement area of the library has become more heavily utilized, especially since publicly available computers are located there. The basement is devoid of natural light and has inadequate artificial light.

Librarian Alyssa Ramirez estimated that about 5,000 patrons visit the Libby library monthly.

Library staff is concerned about the high risk of falls in the basement and its stairwell. The lighting also makes it challenging for patrons to read book titles in the dim light, which causes people to stoop and bend in unsafe ways.

In addition, much of the current library lighting is not controlled by switches, but by aging breakers.

Friends of the Library, represented by Susan Horelick, and Ramirez detailed the library’s community safety hazards to the Roundup for Safety Board. They estimated the lighting project cost at around $10,000.

The Friends of the Library stated it has $5,000 available to complete the project. The board noted the matching funds with approval in its award to the Friends of the Library.

Roundup for Safety is a voluntary program for Flathead Electric Cooperative members who allow their electric bills to be rounded up to the next dollar, with the extra money going into a fund for community safety projects proposed by nonprofit organizations and considered by an independent board.

The Roundup for Safety Board will consider February applications through Jan. 31 and vote on them at its Feb. 9 meeting.

To learn more about the co-op’s Roundup for Safety program, visit

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