New library for a new age

Published 2:50 pm Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Greenville-Butler County Public Library will soon undergo major renovations, which will bring the library up to date with the times.

“Libraries across the country are evolving to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse public and are offering not only books, but access to current and emerging forms of technology, classroom instruction and a variety of programming opportunities for both young and old,” said Kevin Pearcey, director of the GPCPL. “The library space of the future must be flexible, open and attractive so that it may continue to be relevant for the patrons it serves.”

The library was built in 1992 and has remained largely unchanged during more than two decades.

As part of the renovations the shelving and furniture will be replaced; the circulation control desk will be reconstructed; the interior of the facility will be repainted and new carpet will be installed; the carpet in the Community Room will be replaced with tile; ceramic tile will be placed in the foyer; the children’s area will be refurbished; the outside sign will be refurbished; and additional computer workstations will be added.

The project, which is being spearheaded by J. Michael Lee Associates, Inc., of Dothan, is expected to cost in the neighborhood of $325,000 and is being funded in part by reserve funds the library has set aside over the years. The remainder is being covered by grants and funds generated through a capital improvement campaign.

“This is something we’ve needed to do for a while,” said Pearcey. “Our library hasn’t changed since it was built. Libraries have changed. We’re always going to be about books, but we’re not just about books, and these changes will help us better use our space and hold more programs that will help us remain viable going forward.”

The renovations are expected to begin in May. During that time, the library will be open on a limited basis.

“We’re going to use the Community Room as a satellite library while the renovations are going on in the main library,” Pearcey said. “We may have to schedule some of our summer programs outside at the Pavillion, but we’re not cancelling those.”

Near the end of the renovations, the Community Room will be closed for two weeks. During that time, the library will be closed.

Renovations are expected to be completed in August.