Story by Joy Bonala, KACU89.5FM, November 1, 2016
The Abilene Public Library's South Branch is scheduled to reopen on Nov. 19. Previously on South Fourteenth Street and Danville Drive, the South Branch has been closed since the end of September while library staff transitions to the new location inside the Mall of Abilene.
During the Friends of the Abilene Public Library's annual meeting on Tuesday, South Branch Manager Tremain Jackson said the construction is almost done and books will soon be on the shelves just in time for the grand opening. He said the new branch will be able to offer technology that isn't available anywhere else.
"We'll have a green screen, we can record more professional workshops and videos," Jackson said. "TV's will be located throughout the facility that have the ability to show content from the city's government channel.
There will also be a One Button Studio for people to use to record themselves for school presentations or crafts to put online. Private study rooms, a quiet reading room and a teen room are also new for the public to use.
The new space is located next to J.C. Penney's. Jackson said the high retail area is going to attract a different clientele.
"We're going to open right during the peak holiday season, a lot of people are going to be there making those last minute purchases for the holidays and hey, if you need a break, come into the library," Tremain said. "If you spent too much that day, come and check out something for free at the library or come take a rest or come watch a movie."
Also during the annual meeting Librarian Lori Grumet announced plans to make changes at the library's main branch. The computer lab will be made more accessible to the public and a "makerspace" will be added. The makerspace will allow people to express their creativity by putting something together in a group project.