PERRY -- Even though the Perry Library’s new temporary site was open just a few hours Thursday, patrons started to come almost as soon as the building inspector and fire marshal had signed off on the operations.
In that time, perhaps 30 people came through, including women using the library’s Chromebook computers and a boy who checked out several picture books.
The library will reopen Friday with slightly expanded hours and scaled-back services, said J. Sara Paulk, director of the Houston County Public Library System.
Paulk said the new site features Internet access, printing, limited story hours and some of the most desired books. About 80 percent of the book collection will stay in long-term storage, but 20 percent is available now in the temporary site.
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“It’s going to work really well,” Paulk said. “We won’t be able to offer the full range of our services, but we’re going to be able to offer a little bit of everything.”
The new location lacks a meeting room, however. The Perry Historical Museum, behind the old library location on Washington Street, is hosting some of the library’s local history materials.
Inside the new location, a sizable children’s section features a reading corner. Some other areas are considerably smaller; and the reference desk shares space with network and telephone wiring and an aluminum ladder. No regular desktop computers had been set up Thursday, but the Chromebook computers were available for checkout. Wireless Internet access already was available, and magazines stood in cardboard holsters waiting for readers.
To help with the move, librarians had asked patrons to consider checking out up to the maximum of 50 books. The library will try to be flexible, but patrons should return those materials in the coming weeks.
“They can start returning them now or any time up until Labor Day, and then they will be overdue after that,” Paulk said.
The former Perry Primary School site is at 1530 Sunshine Ave., located in a residential area that’s accessible from Main Street and a side road off Houston Lake Road.
The new location will include longer hours on Tuesdays. Regular hours, returning Friday, will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The regular location was built in 1971 and expanded once before. It’s being renovated and expanded with $1.8 million in state bond money and $600,000 from Houston County’s special purpose local option sales tax. The new permanent site should open next summer.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.