“People invest in libraries because it is an investment in their community.”
As you make your way through the hilly roads of Jasper, Georgia, you’ll notice the beautiful mountains in the distance, but just over the hill on 100 Library Lane, a community staple is ready to welcome new and familiar faces.
After almost two years of renovations, the Pickens County Library is open.
The county population has nearly doubled since 1996, when the original library was built. The library could no longer effectively serve its community with the existing space, and so the library built support through its local community, businesses, and elected officials.
Renovations added space for the library to keep growing through a flex room, which can be modified for programs, as well as new genealogy and teen rooms.
The library celebrated its official reopening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 11, 2023, which highlighted how the community worked together to create a space where current and future generations may visit and use to learn, come together, and create memories.
The history of the Pickens County community was highlighted throughout the celebration. “It is no coincidence that the ribbon cutting served as a reunion, reconnecting individuals across the county who all at some point were impacted by the library,” said Sequoyah Regional Library System Executive Director Angela Cortellino. “People invest in libraries because it is an investment in their community.”
Jasper Mayor Steve Lawrence was in attendance and spoke at the event.
“I cannot imagine any better thing for us to do in the community than to walk into a library where I have so many old friends,” said Lawrence. “It’s wonderful to be a part of any community that has a library, and this is an exceptionally good one.”
After the ribbon was cut, the library was given a slice of the ribbon to keep and all who attended were offered a slice of cake. Community members, members of the Pickens County Chamber of Commerce, and elected officials gathered in the lobby and explored the renovations.
The new teen room is a calm space with comfortable seating and plenty of books. “In the first library, the teens didn’t have a dedicated space,” said Pickens County Library Manager Katie Dobson, “they had more like a cubby under the stairs type of space, but now they have the entire room to themselves.”
Another revamped space includes a new Georgia room, which features a microfilm machine to view newspapers dating back to the late 1800s and other historical documents, genealogy and family history books, and more. “It’s local, family, and state history,” said Tammy Bell, a part-time service associate, “It’s a beautiful room that is airy and bright. I’m a genealogist, so I really enjoy it.”