New libraries set to open

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Coming soon to a community near you, are two state-of-the-art libraries in Calera and Montevallo.

These libraries aren&8217;t just for bookworms, senior citizens and kiddies either.

Though the old library is closed and the books are now moved, Calera&8217;s new library is scheduled for a ribbon cutting on Nov. 5, but doors are tentatively set to open as early Monday.

The new library is &8220;bigger, bigger, bigger, it&8217;s much bigger&8221; according to head librarian Janet Greathouse. It features a parenting section for home-school students and an expanded children&8217;s department with their own librarian. Calera&8217;s library also now has self-checkout for speedier checkout and wireless Internet.

More space means more comfortable places for patrons to relax. The new library features several areas for reading and research, complete with eight lounge chairs.

Calera&8217;s library serves around 4,500 people, but being member of the Harrison Regional library system will draw readers from all over county to the new facility.

Besides physical change, revisions were made to the library&8217;s schedule. The library will open at 8 a.m., with storytime held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday mornings.

To pay for the new library, the city cashed in savings bonds.

Montevallo&8217;s new digs have an array of rooms for multiple uses, everything from movies and meetings to researching and receptions. &8220;There are all sorts of plans,&8221; said Pauline Beach, head librarian.

The new facility has a much larger central library room and more collections than ever before, with many additions to the children&8217;s section and more up-to-date reference materials.

Montevallo&8217;s library also now has the beginnings of a DVD collection, an entire historical collection of southern writers called the Parnell collection.

The children&8217;s area sports kid-sized tables and chairs, while more students and adults can surf the web in the expanded computer access area or via wireless Internet.

In addition to the main library is a meeting room, which can hold up to 75 people and has audio/visual capability. The new building also has a theater fitted with high-tech lights and sounds, ready and waiting for the Montevallo Players and other groups to entertain the community with local talent.

Bigger facilities brings several changes to the staff as well. &8220;We expect to be able to serve more people from more homes,&8221; said Libby Rodgers, head of the library&8217;s foundation. &8220;We hope to expand the hours and then the staff.&8221;

The 12,400 square feet building will be entirely supervised by library staff, and Rodgers said there must be a dramatic increase in staff for security, service and protecting the city&8217;s investment.

Rodgers and the foundation raised 2.3 million dollars for the new facility. Donations they received ranged from individuals in the community to international businesses. She also said they received money from every level of government, included grants from city, county, state and federal agencies