Eclectic, where the books are behind bars
ECLECTIC, Ala. (WSFA) - If you think, ”I’ve seen one library, I’ve seen them all,” then you haven’t been to the Eclectic Library.
“This was the old town hall,” said Eclectic Library Director Betty Butler Coker. “We had water works and dispatch in the back.”
When town hall moved down the street in 2010, Coker moved in.
“This was the mayor’s office, and we made this into a children’s room. We do story time here every Saturday morning,” Coker said.
Coker helped get a $7,500 grant and a huge book donation from Barnes and Noble. At first glance, it looks like your typical small-town library.
“All the books, we have fiction and non-fiction. We have DVDs,” Coker added.
In the back, though, is a place you probably didn’t want to visit before this became a library.
“These were the jail cells,” Coker showed me.
At first, it’s tough to tell.
“Cement in the ceiling, and cement under the floor. We made this into the Alabama room,” Coker described.
As you move down the hall, the bars are covered with plywood. But not all of them.
“Do you know of another library that has a jail cell?” Coker asked.
It used to be a place where you got booked, now it’s just a place to read a good book and, hopefully, the only time you enjoy the view from behind bars.
The Eclectic Library is located just off Main St. in downtown Eclectic. It’s open Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
And yes, you can go back to the jail and get a picture.
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