Requests for planning and design proposals on a new facility for the Live Oak Public Libraries’ Hinesville branch will go out next month, confirmed Liberty County Administrator Joey Brown.
Brown said the county, Liberty County Board of Education, Live Oak Public Libraries and the city of Hinesville all will have a hand in the design process.
The potential site for a new library is adjacent to the current library building, where the temporary Liberty County Voters Registration office now sits, Brown said.
Voters Registration will relocate to the Liberty County courthouse once those renovations are complete, he added. The county administrator emphasized that this is only the beginning of the planning phase, and therefore no decision has been made whether a building will be built on the new parcel or the current library will be expanded.
“There’s $5 million allocated for the project in the current SPLOST round, which will end on March 31, 2015,” Brown said. He said the sales tax has generated about $1 million to begin planning for and designing a new library building.
“You want to make sure you get it right the first time,” Brown said of the planning process.
The current 9,994-square-foot library was built in 1983. It houses 53,000 books and provides 24 computers for public use. The Hinesville library is open 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and is closed Sunday.
The library is “a busy place” and is used by the public far more than many in the community realize, Brown said.
Liberty library coordinator Betsy Stow agreed, telling the Courier on Thursday that customer visits to the library increased by 30 percent from 2003 to 2010.
Stow said the library can offer families free, educational activities. There are a number of summer programs for children from toddlers to teens, she said.
“We literally see all ages,” Stow said. “We see parents reading to children and children reading to children.”
Children’s librarian Jessica Garner said local daycares also take advantage of what the library offers so parents don’t have to pay for excursions.
Stow and Garner facilitate the library’s summer reading program, “One World, Many Stories.”
Children can read anything for the program now through Aug. 19 — books, comics, magazines, graphic novels or newspapers. Library story time also counts. Coupons and prize-drawing entries are offered to participants once they log the required hours.
Stow said the library also has special guests scheduled to perform for young audiences this month and next. Storyteller J’miah Nabawi will tell folktales from around the world, including “Bruh Rabbit,” at 10:30 a.m. June 29 at the Hinesville library and at 2:30 p.m. at the Midway branch.
Magical educator Chad Crews will perform at 10:30 a.m. July 18 at the Hinesville library and at 2:30 p.m. in Midway.
Garner and Stow said children ages 8 and older might enjoy learning speed stacking. The activity is open to 30 participants and will begin at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Hinesville library.
Story time for children ages 1-4 usually is held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays, and craft time is held at 3 p.m. Wednesdays, Garner added.
Stow said summer programs for teenagers includes computer classes, such as Introduction to PowerPoint at 10:30 a.m. June 23 and a class for college-bound students to help them learn how to research and find universities online at 2 p.m. June 30.
For more information, go to www.liveoakpl.org.