Left: On a busy day after school, vehicles fill the parking lot at the Pickens County Library.
An expansion is targeted as a future SPLOST project.
Visit the Pickens County Library at the busy time of day and you’d be hard pressed to find an empty computer. If you’re a teen you may feel like the redheaded stepchild with the sparse young adult choices on the shelves.
“The library is filled to the gills,” says Sequoyah Regional Library System Director Susan White. “The book space is absolutely packed. If we want to add new items we have to take something else out, and we need a room for our young adults.”
White said the local library was actually too small when it was built in 1996 and now, with a larger population utilizing the facility, the need is even greater.
“That building is 11,000 square feet,” White said, who then put the facility’s size into perspective.
White said Gilmer’s library is 20,000 square feet, the R.T. Jones Library in Canton is 30,000 (including administrative offices); Ball Ground is 10,000; Hickory Flat is 10,000 and Rose Creek is 10,000.
“And you have to remember that Ball Ground, Hickory Flat and Rose Creek serve smaller communities or cities,” White said. “The Pickens library is meant to serve the entire county.”
White said plans for expansion, including architectural drawings, have been in place for some time now. Funding for the library expansion was even included in the voter-approved 2008 SPLOST, but because of the order SPLOST items are funded it is doubtful that money will be left after the courthouse renovation, debt payment and construction of the new Pickens County Community Center.
“We are requesting $2 million locally and $2 million from the state,” White said, who noted that funding for the Pickens County Library is now number 19 on the state’s capital project list for libraries.
“The state just funded three projects so we’ve moved up,” White said. “This is an ongoing list for library additions, renovations and new branches. We’re hopeful that this funding will come through.”
The Pickens County Board of Commissioners is also considering the library as one item for the 2014 SPLOST, which is in the beginning stages of planning.
Visit the Pickens County Library website at www.sequoy ahregionallibrary.org