LaFayette library reopens in temporary home - a former grocery store

LaFayette library reopens in temporary home - a former grocery store

August 16th, 2011 by Andy Johns in News

Brothers Caleb, left, and Colby Taylor look at a book Monday at the LaFayette-Walker County Public Library that opened in a former Food Lion building.

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

LaFAYETTE, Ga. -- The New York City Public Library has two famous marble lions out in front of its doors.

The LaFayette-Walker County Public Library has two lions of its own, though they are smaller, two-dimensional and look a lot like the logo for grocery-store chain Food Lion, which owns the building now housing the library.

"We think we're going to leave those two," said Cherokee Regional Library director Lecia Eubanks, who nicknamed the logos Patience and Fortitude after their New York cousins.

Eubanks' staff opened the doors Monday to their new temporary LaFayette branch in a former grocery store on Main Street. Books and other library items will be in the building for about two years while contractors renovate and expand the library on Duke Street.

The LaFayette-Walker County Public Library opened Monday in a new temporary location in the former Food Lion just north of the downtown area. The library is part of the Cherokee Regional Library System.

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

Initial reviews on Monday were positive.

"Everybody should be excited about it," said LaFayette resident Jeanette Baker, as she walked under an Aisle 11 sign, past the shelves housing Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King and Rudyard Kipling. "They may not want to move."

Patrons and staff members appreciated the space, location, the large parking lot and bright lighting in the new building. The 40,000-square-foot store is twice the size of the permanent branch location.

Signs marking "Floral" and "Dairy" sections have been turned around. The meat department has been changed to a local history room. The coolers in the frozen food section have been ripped out and replaced with wood-veneer floor cabinets. Outside, the roadside marquee that once held Food Lion's name has been switched to announce the public library.

"The location here is actually better," said Cedar Grove resident Jerry Fuquea, who sat reading a National Geographic article on robots. "It gets you off of the street."

Chickamauga, Ga., resident Crystal Richards browsed the young adult section with her children Caleb and Colby Taylor.

"I like Superman," said Caleb, 5, looking through his brother's DC Comics book.

Rosie Hagwood, left, and Jeanette Baker walk among the shelves at the LaFayette-Walker County Public Library that opened Monday in a new temporary location in the former Food Lion just north of the downtown area. The library is part of the Cherokee Regional Library System.

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

Richards said they are new to the area and found the new location easily after not being able to locate the old one.

"We gave up," she said.

But frequent visitors like LaFayette resident Rosie Hagwood, who visits every two weeks, said they're having to learn the layout all over again.

"It's going to take some getting used to," she said.

Contact Andy Johns at ajohns@timesfreepress.com or call 423-757-6324.