By Nancy Leighton
The 2008 Bond Issue provided finances for a new Atlanta Fulton County library in southeast Atlanta. This new branch will replace and combine the Georgia Hill Branch, the Carver Homes Branch, and the Thomasville Heights Satellite Branch. The Georgia Hill Branch is housed in the Georgia Hill community building owned by the city of Atlanta and cannot be expanded at that location. The Carver Homes Branch is housed in the John C. Birdine Community Center also owned by the city of Atlanta. The Thomasville Heights satellite is a small prefabricated modular structure that was set in place and quickly assembled. It has semicircular windows of Plexiglas. Over the years, sun damage has crackled and clouded the Plexiglas and it would be difficult and expensive to repair this small structure that does not meet the neighborhood’s needs. It is located at the intersection at Henry Thomas Drive and Thomasville Drive.
At a public meeting on March 22, library patrons were asked to give suggestions on what is needed in the new library. Several people said they would be better able to give useful suggestions if they knew what site has been chosen for the new library. Facilities director John Szabo stated that no location has been selected yet. He said that it would be somewhere south of I-20 and east of I-75, I-85. This is a large geographic area with many wide open spaces and abandoned industrial sites. Szabo said that the Fulton County Commission would be making the final decision on the location. It will be announced at another community meeting in the fall. At that time, preliminary schematic drawings will also be presented.
A large number of people at the meeting, including Georgia Hill Branch Manager Twana Cannon, brought their pre-school-age children along to emphasize the strong need for facilities especially designed to help children learn how to use and love libraries. Some specific suggestions were for reading circles, restrooms for small children including diaper changing tables, and areas separated from the adult sections.
For older children and adults, people suggested a variety of computer facilities, such as a separate computer lab where classes could be held. Others suggested various sizes of meeting rooms, such as a large room that could be divided and small rooms for small groups to work together on a study project. Also suggested were more comfortable reading chairs and small tables around the library. One man wanted reading chairs with an attractive view through windows.
Southeast Atlanta is not the only part of Fulton County to get a new library. A meeting was held on March 24, at the old Stewart Lakewood Branch, which will be replaced. There will be other meetings throughout the county for the eight or ten libraries that will be built.
The library board wants everyone to fill out a survey or give their comments on any of the new facilities they are interested in. To reach the survey, go online to the Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library website at www.afpls.org. On the upper-right, look for “Latest News,” below that, “We want your input on new libraries.” Click there for the survey. Anyone having trouble getting to the survey can go to a library branch and ask a library employee to help or to print out the survey. Library patrons can also email directly to email@example.com, fax comments to 404-335-5291,or mail them into Branch Services, Central Library, One Margaret Mitchell Square, Atlanta GA, 30303. For any questions, call 404-730-1777. The surveys are due April 30, 2011.
Library Seeks Input on New Southeast Branch
By Nancy Leighton