Library will reopen to patient patrons on April 11
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After operating in makeshift locations for the last year, Roddenbery Memorial Library is closed this week as employees move back into the main building, which has undergone a major renovation. Updated lighting, new configurations of book shelves and an increase in “useable” space are just part of the overall revamp.
“We’re very excited! And, we appreciate everyone’s patience immensely,” says library director Pam Grigg. “The wait is going to be worth it.”
Versatility, convenience and modernization are the perks of this renovation where the design hinged on flexibility, according to Grigg. Book shelves on casters in the teen area mean they can be moved to the side to create large, free-spaces. ‘It’s all designed to be able to serve the community much more efficiently,” Grigg says.
A glass-enclosed room called “Maker Space,” will be used for patrons to create – such as items that are knitted, sewn or painted. “This is going to be a hot spot,” Grigg predicts, saying it can also be used for meetings.
In the children’s section of the library, there is a “flex space” that Grigg says could be used for tutoring, story time, or other activities.
A new handicap ramp at the northeast corner of the building will allow patrons in wheelchairs to have better access to the entire library.
The stage in the auditorium was lowered approximately two feet. Grigg says performers and presenters using the room before usually declined to use the original stage, especially when performing for children. “I think it was because it was so high,” Grigg explains. The auditorium also has new flooring, which Grigg describes as “luxury vinyl tile.”
A walkway leading from the auditorium into the courtyard now has an awning to protect patrons from the elements. “I think it adds so much to this room,” says Grigg.
A behind-the-scenes benefit of the renovation is expected to be lower utility bills thanks to upgraded heating and air conditioning, new windows, and LED lighting. Restrooms with better insulation are expected to provide better privacy for those using them.
Although Grigg is planning to reopen the library on Thursday, April 11, there are still minor details to be completed. “We just couldn’t wait until everything is perfect to reopen,” Grigg says. Some of the details include paint touch-ups or furniture yet to arrive.
The first peek into the renovations will come this Sunday with the performance of folksinger Adam Miller. His free concert will take place at 3 p.m. in the library.
Another scheduled community event will take place later this month when the library hosts Business After Hours with the Cairo-Grady County Chamber of Commerce. ‘That will be a chance for a lot of people to come in who might not otherwise,” Grigg says.
Meanwhile, a grand opening is in the works, and Grigg says details will be announced at that time.
The $2.4 million renovation project was paid for using a $2 million capital grant from the state to help modernize the facility, Grigg says. The library also received a bequest of $600,00 from the estates of the Joyce M. and Frank L. Pickens.
In addition to a literary resource, the library also offers construction club, art club for kids, sewing and art classes, family game night, violin class and more.