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Renovated public library opens doors Wednesday

By Walter Geiger After nearly a year of limited operations due to a complex renovation and expansion project, the Barnesville Library celebrates its grand reopening Wednesday with a ribbon cutting and catered reception set to begin 10 a.m. With state-of-the-art LED lighting throughout and a glass wall on its north end, the new facility is light and airy. The new community room will accommodate 145 people as opposed to the old room that held 65. There are also two smaller meeting rooms. A new teen section has two internet accessible computers and USB outlets where students can charge phones, use laptops and access wi-fi connectivity. In the children’s area there are six computers and two early literacy stations. There are also 10 internet capable computers for adults. Parking was at a premium before the project. Now the library has 11 parking places out front and 22 more in the back. There are exterior benches and the traditional flag pole that was dedicated Emmett Coleman in 2004. Coleman, a longtime library board member, raised and lowered the flag at the library for generations prior to his death. With all the new features, the library still pays homage to the past. On one wall there is a 10×17 mural of the Gordon Grammar School that was located on the library site. The school was built in 1912, abandoned in the late 1970s and demolished in 1985. The dedicated genealogy room features the crown molding from the old library building, archived Herald Gazettes on microfilm and in print as well as high school and college annuals and other local history items. One of the interior partitions is made of Buggy wheels in a tribute to Barnesville’s history as the Buggy Capital of the South. The library closed on Jan. 26, 2016 when work began though librarians were on hand during most of the downtime to get books for readers from other state libraries by request. Shelves are being installed and stocked with books at a frenetic pace in preparation for Wednesday’s event. ’It has been a lot of hard work but we are thrilled with the finished product. It is the perfect blend of the old and new. We love it and hope the community will as well,’ manager Kelly Hughes concluded.

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