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Crowds flock to new library

System's fourth branch draws rave reviews

POSTED: August 26, 2013 12:31 a.m.
Crystal Ledford/

Sharon Anderson helps Viki Moolman register for a library card at the grand opening of the Post Road library branch Saturday.

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Ann Decherd said she had “tears of joy” in her eyes Saturday morning.

The branch manager of the new Post Road library, Decherd was thrilled with the turnout for the grand opening of the 23,500-square-foot facility in west Forsyth.

“I’m not sure exactly how many people we’ve had come through so far,” she said about two hours after the branch opened at 10 a.m. “But I know we had more than 180 kids alone take part in our first story time with Tacky the Penguin.

“All of the staff knew this would be a popular branch, but I don’t think any of us expected this kind of turnout.”

That turnout ended up being close to 1,800 people, said Mary Helen McGruder, chairwoman of the Forsyth County Library Board, on Monday.

In addition, the new branch drew nearly 500 people on Sunday. Over the course of the weekend, more than 7,000 items were checked out.

“Total items in the collection at this time are 60,000 and some of those are reference materials that can’t be checked out, so more than 10 percent of the collection was checked out in one weekend,” McGruder said.

Funding for the new library, which totaled about $7.2 million, came from the 1-cent sales tax program approved by voters in 2008 and a $2 million state construction grant. The county is slated to provide the funding to operate it.

Saturday’s grand opening featured various events and activities for all ages beginning at 10 a.m. and running through closing time at 5:30 p.m.

Among them were flag ceremonies with area Boy and Girls Scouts, arts and crafts activities for kids and a magic show.

There were also several educational programs for different ages, including an improvisation workshop and digital art and photography techniques classes.

Kerry and Diane Adams brought grandchildren, Fletcher, 4, and Olivia, 7, to the opening of the branch, the local library system’s fourth.

“We all love to read, so we’re very excited to have a new library so close to home,” Diane Adams said while helping Fletcher with a book at one of the many seating areas.

There will be plenty of books for the Adams to choose from since the new library will eventually house some 96,000 volumes, as well as periodicals and other items such as DVDS and CDs.

The facility boasts a 100-seat capacity meeting room, 38 public computer workstations and wireless Internet access throughout, and a drive-up book drop, as well as automated sorting equipment to efficiently handle returns.

Josh and Stacey Shorr brought their 3-year-old daughter, Emily, to the grand opening.

Stacey Shorr said the girl couldn’t wait for the new library to open.

“We plan on pitching a tent down here we’ll be using the library so much,” she joked. “Every time we’ve passed by it’s been, ‘Is it open? Can we go, can we go?’

“She was just in awe this morning. She couldn’t believe it was actually open.”

Apparently, many others had the same reaction since almost every space in the facility was full on Saturday and staff member stayed busy, with many of their transactions involving new library cards.

“It’s impressive,” Josh Shorr said of the turnout. “It really shows the strength of our community and how much people care.”

 

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