DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Dougherty County Public Libraries are expanding this year with the re-opening of Southside Library coming up, but they hope to grow their facilities even more.
They have already invested nearly $4.9 million into the Northwest Library branch and that investment qualifies them to apply for an additional $2 million grant from the state.
Northwest Library hopes to get the grant and use it to renovate nearly 11,000 square feet of space that's currently being used for storage.
Dougherty County Public Library Director, Pauline Abidde, says using the space in its entirety will help them to better serve the community.
"Upgrades to that facility will help the library reach it's full potential as a service outlet to the community," Abide explains.
They hope to add more technology, a place for their genealogy department, meeting rooms, and a space for community events.
Abide says using the space is important. Especially since libraries now offer more than just books.
"It's much more than that. Libraries are evolving in whatever the community needs the library to be," Abidde says.
Jack Carnes reads the paper at the library nearly every day. He says having more space to add meeting rooms and other activities is a great way to accommodate the community.
"I think that's great. I think a lot of businesses have meetings where they need a lot of space. I think it'll be real beneficial," Carnes explains, "It gives people availability of being able to come here and use the computers and everything they have. It's a great facility"
Northwest library currently uses 16,000 square feet of space. Renovating the unused area would almost double the current size of the library. Abidde says opening that space to the community is good for everyone.
"It's just going to be very beneficial to the library staff and to the community to have that space," says Abidde.
She urges anyone who uses the libraries to reach out to their state legislatures.
"Let them know that we really need that Northwest Library project to get approved," Abidde urges.