Library finally reopens doors

Published 12:15 pm Wednesday, July 20, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
It's been a long wait, but the Atmore Public Library is finally open for business again.
The library has been closed since last September, just before Hurricane Ivan struck. It was scheduled to reopen last Monday, but Hurricane Dennis delayed the opening a few days until Wednesday.
"Everyone is thrilled that we're open again," Atmore Public Library assistant director Cathy McKinley said. "Everyone that comes in makes a comment that they are thankful that we're finally open. We'd like to thank everyone for their patience."
Monday, the Library held an "appreciation day" for its patrons. Employees served punch and gave away bookmarks as a gesture of appreciation.
"It went fine," McKinley said. "From the time we opened at 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. about 25 people had signed the register. There were some that did not register. As people find out that we're open more and more are coming. I imagine after tomorrow when it's in the paper, people will start to come in. Summer is usually a busy time."
Sandy Gibbs of Atmore visited the library on Monday with her four-year-old son Jared. She was extremely happy it was operational again.
"It's a blessing," she said. "We have a summer reading list and didn't think we were going to get to it. I thought I was going to have to go to Bay Minette or buy them, which would be a hassle. I was able to find a lot of them."
When the library received roof damage during Hurricane Ivan, a lot of the library's books were destroyed. Gibbs said she took note of the new additions.
"They've got a lot of new books, which is really good," she said.
Albert Carns, who visits his mother, Lavina Carns, who resides at the Atmore Nursing Center, was glad to have a place to read the newspaper again.
"It's sure nice to have the library open again," he said as he read the paper. "We visit a couple of times a year."
Elder Glen Bailey with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was pleased with the convenience of the library being reopened.
"It's nice because we use the computers to check our e-mails," he said. "We've been checking them on other members computers, so it's been nice to not have to bother them."
Not only are library users happy to see the facility up and running, the library's employees are as well.
"I'm glad to get back to normal," McKinley said. "There was a great deal of work getting it ready. Getting the shelving back into the building, putting the books on the shelves and getting the books in order."
For those worried about those overdue books, there's no need to be alarmed.
"We're fine free until all the books are received from Hurricane Ivan," McKinley said. "That's the least we can do."
McKinley also wanted to remind everyone of the Children at Risk Grant the State Library awarded the library just before Hurricane Ivan to assist in purchasing computers, software and books for students to prepare for the Alabama High School Graduation Exam. The grant totaled $17,600 and the library matched it with $4,400.
"We want to let them know that we're up and running and that they can come in any time to use these tests," McKinley said.
The library will now operate under normal business hour, which are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.

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