by Joe Schwartz
Orange County's main library will close its doors Dec. 13 to make way for a new $8.1 million facility that will open Jan. 8.
The new 23,500-square-foot building at 137 W. Margaret Lane in Hillsborough will be 10,000 square feet larger than the current space and will feature two floors with added amenities including a teen room and a meeting space for 100 people with a kitchen area.
"The library has actually outgrown its facility here. We're in an old school building, as a matter of fact," said Lucinda Munger, Orange County library director. "This is the first building that has actually been built as a library for the Orange County Public Library system."
The current library has been housed at the Whitted Building on West Tryon Street for 29 years.
Munger says library users will notice an expanded staff and services once the move is completed. The first floor will be targeted to children and parents while the teen center, a local history collection, private tutoring stations and a reference collection with resources for small business are planned for upstairs.
She encourages patrons to visit the Carrboro branch library at McDougle Middle School, the Cybrary at the Carrboro Century Center or the Cedar Grove Branch in the Northern Human Services Center during the four-week moving process.
The Orange County Board of Commissioners will meet with the Chapel Hill Town Council, Carrboro Board of Aldermen and Hillsborough Town Board of Commissioners on Monday to discuss library services.
"We're going to give the assembled boards a review of both (Orange and Chapel Hill) library systems," Munger said. "It's going to give them collaboration efforts we are currently doing that consist of no additional funding and an idea of what collaboration could be done long term in order to provide citizens of Orange County with equitable service."