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Officials hail addition of fourth library

Branch seen as ‘missing piece’ in west Forsyth

POSTED: August 31, 2013 12:30 a.m.
Crystal Ledford/

Jon McDaniel, library director, speaks to the crowd during a dedication ceremony for the new Post Road library.

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The Forsyth County library system has come a long way since 1966, when its first building was constructed.

That evolution was celebrated Thursday during a dedication ceremony for the new Post Road branch, which opened to the public on Saturday.

Mary Helen McGruder, chairwoman of the library system’s board, used wheels as a symbol for the progress over the past several decades.

“Our first books came to us on wheels. It was a book mobile from Lawrenceville,” she recalled of her childhood in the county. “And today we return our library books on the automated wheels of the book return system you saw at the front entrance of this library.

“The wheels of progress continue to turn for Forsyth County.”

The automated return system is a first for the county’s library system, which also includes three other branches — Cumming, Hampton Park and Sharon Forks.

Jon McDaniel, director of the library system, said the turnout for Saturday’s grand opening of the fourth branch, which reached nearly 1,800 people, made him “proud to be a librarian.”

“I saw the satisfaction of the library board, looked at the library staff and saw that they were all swollen with pride because it was such a great facility and the fact that citizens had turned out in that magnitude to see this facility,” he said. “That will always be in my memory and it makes me proud to be a librarian and proud to know that I do something that is beneficial to the community.”  

Also during Thursday’s dedication, Commission Chairman Pete Amos and Commissioner Todd Levent, who represents the district in which the library is located, spoke.

Levent said the library had been a “missing piece” to the west Forsyth community.

“I am pleased that this long awaited missing piece was added this week,” he said. “The crowds that showed up Saturday were dead proof of how much this was needed in this community.”

State Sen. Jack Murphy and Rep. Mark Hamilton also talked about the new facility.

Murphy called taxpayer funds that were used to construct the $7.2 million facility, “money well spent.”

About $5.2 million of the funding came from the county’s 1-cent sales tax program approved by voters in 2008. The remaining $2 million was from a state construction grant that Murphy and Hamilton were instrumental in securing for the project.

Hamilton said the new facility is “a great example of the community we have” throughout Forsyth County.

“We have citizens that demand outstanding services, they demand outstanding facilities,” he said. “So I think this is just another example of that.”

 

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