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System mulls HQ for library
160,000-square-foot building proposed

LAWRENCEVILLE - With more than a dozen public library branches already nestled throughout Gwinnett, officials are considering a main library to be the centerpiece of the system.

The main branch, which could be a multi-leveled building up to 160,000-square-feet, is proposed as part of a library facilities plan for the next five years. Officials will consider using money from an upcoming sales tax extension to buy land for the building.

"Having a main library would allow us to take excellence in library services already enjoyed by the citizens of Gwinnett to a whole new level," system director Nancy Stanbery-Kellam said. "With ample space to do so, we would be able to increase both the depth and breadth of the collection, allowing our customers more immediate access to the materials they need."

Gwinnett Community Services Director Phil Hoskins, who participated in the facilities study, said a main library would give readers and researchers a place to go for more extensive study. For several years, the county's library branches have been dedicated to popular books, but Hoskins said the main branch could provide space for more historical collection.

The building would also provide some room for the system's administrative staff, which has converted storage closets into office space to accommodate growing needs at the Lawrenceville branch.

Stanbery-Kellam said the building would be a focal point for readers and would also provide community space to bring in authors, work with school, government, business and cultural communities and respond to customers.

"Not only will it be a place to go for looking up information and checking out materials, it will be a community destination where citizens go to relax and enjoy their library and the facility," she said. "It will be a physical representation of something our entire community can be proud of; it will reflect our commitment to providing resources to all of our citizens and the reverence we hold for information and the power of knowledge."