By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
May 16, 2018
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- An era is ending in Valdosta. The public library is now in its final weeks as a new library nears completion.
"It's been here for so long it's like part of the neighborhood. When it goes away, it's going to be empty over here," said library patron Lazonya Berrian.
The South Georgia Regional Library on Woodrow Wilson Drive is closing at the end of the month.
"It has a lot of issues. We don't have enough parking, we have a lot of problems with the roof and we have a lot of problems with the air conditioner," said library director Miguel Vicente.
Many guests don't see or overlook these problems because of their love for the library.
"I'm happy with this one," said patron James Linton. "But a new one would be exciting, I guess."
The new location will open in July on Julia Drive, just a few minutes away.
"It's closer to campus, so when campus closes I don't have to go far, I can go straight there," said Berrian, a student at VSU and Wiregrass.
Folks using the library are in for some changes. The $4 million project will have its own children's room, young adult section, more meeting space, quiet rooms, a cafe, a plaza, a playground and laptops available to check out.
"This library is more destination," Vicente said. "The old library is more like, you say, I need a book, I'm going to the library and pick out a book, or, I need to use a computer. But here, it's going to be different, you're going to say, I'm going to to the library, I'm going to spend time at the library."
Some guests are eager for the new. Others, hoping not everything changes.
"The people are nice. That's the main thing," Linton said.
Library staff said South Georgia Medical Center plans to buy the old building. The grand opening of the new library is scheduled for July 28.