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Library to open March 15
Hampton Park is third branch
Hampton Park library
The Forsyth County Public Library’s Hampton Park branch will serve the northern part of Forsyth. - photo by Submitted
Library hours

• Sunday: 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.
• Monday: 10 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.
• Tuesday: 1 to 8:30 p.m.
• Wednesday: 10 a.m.- 8:30 p.m.
• Thursday: 10 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.
• Friday: 10 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.
• Saturday: 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.
The Hampton Park Library, Forsyth County’s third branch, is set to open March 15.

The new library, located at 5345 Settingdown Road, will be open seven days a week with varying service hours similar to those of the current Cumming and Sharon Forks branches.

More than 60,000 items will be available for checkout, with room to expand to about 96,000, said Jon McDaniel, director.

Hampton Park will be the first county library branch to use radio frequency ID chips in its materials.

“You can put a whole stack of books on the checkout station and it can check them all out at one time,” said Vanessa Cowie, programming coordinator.

Cowie said the library system plans to gradually expand the technology to its two other branches.

At 23,000 square feet, Hampton Park will have an expanded children’s area for storytelling and 38 computers.

Many people bring in laptops to use the free wireless Internet, McDaniel said, but the public access computers have been increasingly popular.

“They’re usually all full all the time,” he said. “Particularly now because so many people are unemployed and they have dropped their Internet service at home.”

In fact, circulation and visitors continue to increase despite last year’s cutback in hours from 61 to 48 per week.

“People are just deciding to come in when we’re open,” he said. “We’re still in demand.”

Hampton Park will help “balance” the geographical locations of branches in the county, said McDaniel, adding that people are less likely to use the library if it isn’t convenient.

“The new library will improve access for all library users, especially those in north Forsyth County,” he said.

A dedication ceremony is set for 2 p.m. March 21, though patrons can start enjoying services and programs six days before that.

On March 17, the branch will host Great Decisions, a six-week series about international affairs presented by North Georgia College & State University.

Preschool story times will begin March 26.

Construction of the $6.8 million branch began in December, funded by 1-cent sales tax revenue, impact fees and a grant from the Georgia Public Library Service.

Sustainable designs and materials, such as recycled carpeting, were used.

“Hampton Park incorporates environmentally-friendly features that will use energy more efficiently, like ‘green’ lighting and wide roof overhangs to shade windows,” said Carla Beasley, assistant director for planning and facilities. “And, a plot of native water plants will filter runoff from the parking lot.’”

The system plans to go a step further with the future Post Road Library, pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certified status, McDaniel said.

In January, the board selected an architectural firm to design the fourth branch.

The library also has plans for a fifth branch on Wallace Tatum Road in northwestern Forsyth.

“Both our community and the library are still growing,” McDaniel said.