In December, the Clayton County Library System opened a beautiful, light-filled new library in Forest Park (near the Atlanta airport and the State Farmer’s Market). The new building is just one block from the previous one, a small, forty-four year-old building that was badly in need of upgrades and infrastructure improvements. At 16,000 square feet, the new building is double the size of the old one and provides many new ways for the public to use it. In addition to the shelf-space for 64,000 items, it offers a multi-purpose meeting room that seats forty, a children’s craft and story time room , a toddler play area, a teen area with a (very popular!) gaming system, a quiet homework room, thirty-six new public-use computers, and a computer training lab where we offer free beginning and intermediate level computer classes to the public.
Although access to the library’s public computers is a priority in the community, we also wanted to accommodate the many patrons bringing in their own laptops and other electrical devices. Free wireless access is available throughout the building, study tables have built-in power outlets in their tops for convenient laptop use, and there are outlets along the wall next to the leisure reading chairs that include both traditional power outlets as well as USB-power outlets for convenient charging of cell phones, iPods, and other electronics that would ordinarily be charged through a computer.
The new building is situated on a lot that had a nice cluster of large, old live oaks. So, the outstanding architectural firms of Craig Gaulden Davis Architects and Gerding Collaborative designed the building to wrap in a semi-circle around the trees, saving as many as possible amongst those that were strong and healthy. The inner curve is floor-to-ceiling glass and lined with comfortable reading chairs, making the view beautiful, open and airy from inside. The trees are reflected in the windows from the outside, taking maximum advantage of the natural aspects from all angles.
Forest Park’s residents have shown great support for the new library, and we are pleased to be able to offer them our services in return.
To learn more about the Clayton County Library System, please visit http://www.claytonpl.org/index.cfm.