Library hosts public discussion
Published 8:13 pm Wednesday, September 18, 2019
The LaGrange Memorial Library is preparing for major renovations, and on Tuesday evening, library staff and the architect of the updated plan paused to ask the community what they hope to get out of the library in the future.
The LaGrange Memorial Library was most recently renovated in 1996, and current renovations are projected to cost about $5.8 million, funded with support from state and community partners.
“We are hoping to have some sort of rough renderings and plans in hand around election time,” said Keith Schuermann, director of the Troup-Harris Regional Library system. “The reason we want it around election time is we will present those plans to our local elected officials and begin conversations about how we need support for this.”
The renovations are expected to take between 9 and 18 months, when the LaGrange Library would likely operate from a secondary, temporary location.
Schuermann said he wants the renovated library to be a great space that works for the community.
“We want to talk very broadly about how you want to feel when you come into the library,” Smith said.
Smith asked what parts of the library are working for its users and which areas need improvement. The attendees listed group meetings, internet access, special events and — of course — the books as some their favorite parts of the library as it is, and many of the additions suggested revolved around making it easier for library visitors to enjoy those very things.
Participants in the discussion said they would like to see designated individual and group study spaces, more easily accessible power outlets, clearer signage both inside and outside the library, classrooms, quiet rooms and rooms to accommodate groups and events of a wide range of sizes — from clubs with a half dozen members to the children’s library programs, which have attracted more than 300 people to some events. Other suggestions included a café, a kitchen space, a space to display children’s art and computer areas functional for computer classes and private individual work.
Smith shared some of the ideas the group is also looking into, including an expanded children’s space and possibly reconfiguring the entrance so that the main entryway faces a street with businesses instead of a neighborhood.
Participants in the event also requested that the library coordinate with the LaGrange Art Museum and the Troup County Archives on spaces or events under consideration that might overlap existing programs at those locations.
However, many still expressed interest in a “heritage room” or space to display student art. The library currently offers genealogy classes.
Schuermann and CAS also previously partnered to plan the Hogansville Public Library.
Other projects that CAS taken part in can be seen on its company website at Casarc.com.