Norcross residents already have a variety of activities that they can do when they visit Lillian Webb Park.

They can toss a frisbee around, relax on a blanket, play in the park’s splash pad or socialize with friends.

They can now add checking out a library book, sewing a dress, making a 3D-printed item or practicing computer coding to that list.

Gwinnett County and Norcross officials formally opened the city’s new library at the edge of the park during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday. It was one of two libraries that the county partnered with a city on that has opened this year. The other library was the Duluth branch, which opened earlier this year.

“The new library here in Norcross will continue its tradition of providing fair and quality access to information. Information translates into knowledge. Knowledge is a stepping-stone on the path to a better future,” Norcross Mayor Craig Newton said. “We applaud both our Gwinnett County Commission and the Gwinnett Public Library System on your efforts in partnership with the city of Norcross in creating what is arguably the most unique library in the county.”

The library is a key piece of efforts to expand Norcross’ downtown district and bring revitalization to the Buford Highway corridor. The relocated Norcross branch, along with the Brunswick mixed-use development, form a bridge that connects the edge of Lillian Webb Park with Buford Highway, a corridor which Norcross recently unveiled plans to encourage redevelopment along.

But, county officials said the new library branch is not just intended to be an anchor to spur redevelopment. They also see it as a major community asset with multiple opportunities for children to learn and adults to gather and get creative or address local issues.

The branch includes 45 computer stations; sewing, crafting, coding and 3D printing spaces in learning labs; a game room; study rooms; and a community meeting room that can seat as many as 120 people among other amenities. There is also a outdoor plaza with seating and planters, as well as a staircase to allow people to access the library and the park from Buford Highway.

“Libraries improve quality of life and attract residents and businesses, and resources like the ones provided here create opportunity for the people who use them,” Gwinnett County Commission Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson said. “I can’t wait to see the innovation that emerges from this space.”

Gwinnett County Public Library Board of Trustees Chairwoman Wandy Taylor added, “Our libraries in Gwinnett County are the ‘hubs’ for community resources – and it is incumbent upon all of us to support these efforts for continued growth and innovation.”

Norcross and the county worked together on planning the library, from determining what resources it would have to reaching agreements on what it would look like. The branch’s construction was funded using special purpose local option sales tax monies.

“When governments work together for the benefit of our residents, great things happen,” Commissioner Ben Ku said. “This library project is an example of all of us to joining forces to provide the most satisfying government experience for our community.”

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.

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