Library almost complete in Lovejoy

By Ed Brock

For 19-year-old Tiffany Frazier, the new Lovejoy Library has dual potential.

On Monday she picked up an application to work at the new library on McDonough Road that is due to open in January. But as a college student at Gordon College in Atlanta, Frazier is also looking forward to using the library.

"Instead of having to go up to college every day I can study here and do research here," said Frazier who is majoring in education.

In a ceremony held on Dec. 19 the 12,000-square foot building was officially dedicated in outgoing Clayton County Commission Chairman Crandle Bray's name, and it is scheduled to open to the public on Jan. 10. The library's Branch Manager Annette Johnson and her staff are already in the new building, stocking the shelves that can hold 60,000 books and helping to put the finishing touches on their new workplace. Even her younger brother Mark Duncan, visiting from Virginia for the Christmas holidays, was there to help.

"It's beautiful," Johnson said.

From the working gas fireplace and upholstered chairs in the reading area to the star and moon-shaped stools in the children's area, the new library has an open feeling augmented by walls of windows.

Johnson will have nine people on her staff, six full-time and three part-time.

"I'm a computer person," said Johnson's second in command Gerald Walker. "I really am looking forward to getting to provide computer services."

The new library will be a "hot spot" where anybody can come to plug in for wireless access to the Internet. Also, the library will offer training in basic computer skills and educational computer games for children.

"We're the only branch in the county with a color copier," Johnson said.

There's also a meeting room with a kitchen that will be for public use and other amenities.

The building was paid for with a little over $1.4 million in from the state and $732,400 from the county plus the site.

Bray said he's pleased to have the building named in his honor and called it the realization of a dream.

"I hope it sets a trend for how the libraries look henceforth," Bray said.