Warner Robins library readies for $2.1 million renovation

Sun News correspondentOctober 31, 2012 

WARNER ROBINS -- Patrons might have been shocked if they went to the Nola Brantley Memorial Library on Monday.

It wasn’t there.

The building was intact, but doors were locked and books gone.

Library staff packed up books and furnishings last week to make way for a $2.1 million remodeling project at the Nola Brantley facility. They carried a selection of items across the street to the red-brick building on the corner of Watson Boulevard and Myrtle Street, which opened Monday as a temporary branch until the re-do is done about this time next year.

“We should definitely be in and enjoying a great new Christmas present next year,” said Karen Odom, director of the Houston County Public Library System. “Until then, we hope our patrons will be a little patient with us and use the temporary branch and our other branches in Centerville and Perry. We’re still here to help.”

Odom said some Warner Robins staff have been shifted to the Centerville library, and hours increased there to handle a potential influx of users. Some computers from Warner Robins have also been moved there.

As far as service at the temporary location goes, Odom said moving from a 24,000-square-foot space to a 1,300-square-foot one meant obvious downsizing.

However, she said there will still be a good selection of books with plenty of popular titles and holiday cookbooks on the shelves. She said there will be Wi-Fi but no computer work stations, yet a limited supply of older laptops will be available for use.

Though selection and space on-site is limited, Odom said any book in the Georgia PINES library network may be ordered and held at the new location. She also said it’s a good time to discover online resources available at houpl.org.

Odom said the library’s children’s program will continue but at a scaled-back pace through the next year.

“When we move back into the Nola Brantley space there will be many, many improvements,” she said. “People will find it a much warmer, inviting and efficient library. Now it’s almost like two separate buildings awkwardly joined together, but it will become a beautiful open, neighborhood branch -- something Warner Robins can be proud of.”

Odom said the high ceiling of one side of the building will be lowered to make cooling and heating more economical, and the library’s Marian Walker Local History Room will be upgraded and become home to archived material from the Warner Robins Historical Society.

She said a formal teen room will also be added with teen-focused books, homework help and activities.

Patrons are being asked to park on the east side of the temporary facility at 610 Watson Blvd. and enter through the rear entrance to the north. There will be a book drop there and inside. Parking is also available in the City Hall parking lot.

The library renovation and refurnishing is being accomplished through $2 million from a 2006 special purpose local option sales tax. An additional $110,000 will be spent for new materials for the library.

Contact Michael W. Pannell at mwpannell@gmail.com.

The Telegraph is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service