However, patrons are now enjoying the state of art equipment and an array of resources and books in the 19,000 square feet of space.
The new library was relocated from the downtown area into a part of the Municipal Complex at 316 North Piedmont Avenue, building 201, on Monday, Feb. 6.
The construction contract was awarded to Ward General Contractors, Kennesaw, in a base bid total of $1,416,217.
Paul D. Hoover, project architect, Precision Planning, Inc., said the lowest apparent responsive bidders for the furniture packages were within the budget at $269,281.
Frank Plant and John Larkin were among recent visitors to the new facility. Both said they were impressed with the space and interior décor.
“It is a beautiful building and something everyone should enjoy, Plant said.
“I agree that it is a great facility,” Larkin said. “I am here almost every day.”
Comments from other patrons reflected the same opinion, including Sherry Hawkins and Jill Kitchens, who brought her infant son to get his first library card.
“Reading is a family tradition,” Hawkins said.
A tour of the facility revealed the reason Manager Ann Wheeler smiled as she answered questions and made comments to each individual.
According to Wheeler, plans for a new library were discussed for several years.
“I was excited when I heard it would be built,” she said. “We started thinking of things we needed and improvements that could be made. Thereafter, we drew a rough plan which was incorporated into the final design.”
She visualized the things like specified sections for available material that would enhance the enjoyment of patrons and wanted to incorporate the history of Rockmart in the building.
There are slanted shelving units and security cameras placed for safety of staff and patrons.
The first thing a visitor sees within the library is a display table for new books or latest best sellers. You don’t have to look for them. These are very visible.
There are scattered seating areas with a stone fireplace as the focal point. Slate used on the fireplace matches that placed on support beans in the center of the building.
People notice a flickering flame in the fireplace as they relax on the chairs where they can read or enjoy a quiet moment. One woman said the area reminded her of the “fireside chats” her mother talked about.
There is a place where students or business professionals can use a wireless connection for their laptop.
A large meeting room is available when the library is open. The table can be expanded for larger groups. It will be a boon for activities for children during the summer reading program.
A bookstore will contain volumes that are no longer used by the library. These can be made available during special sales.
The cutting edge of technology can be seen in the state of the art lab equipped with 24 computers that can be used by the public.
Computers are also available for teens and young adults, which are separate from the lab and placed near the children’s department.
This colorful room has carpeting and other decor in a rainbow of hues to entice the young child to enter a world of books and learning. Books for children are no longer with the juvenile selection but are separate.
A staging area is also included in this space and will be utilized during story time events.
The Heritage Room is an inviting area where individuals can find out interesting facts about ancestors. Books containing information about families and local history are placed in this space.
Wheeler said staff receives many out of state calls from people that are seeking facts about their family. The Rockmart/Van Wert area was one of the pioneer settlements in Northwest Georgia.
The library contains about 3,000 items, including hardbacks, paperbacks, DVDs and other material.
“We are part of the PINES (Public Information Network for Electronic Services) system,” Wheeler said. “If we don’t have it, we can get it.”
Other library staff includes Jennifer Hall, Jennifer Harmison, Robbin Burrow and Camille Maulding.