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Hundreds attend new library's grand opening

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle gives keynote speech

POSTED: June 4, 2008 5:02 a.m.
SCOTT ROGERS / The Times

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, right, is greeted by Hall County Commission Chairman Tom Oliver during Saturday's grand opening of the Spout Springs branch of the Hall County Library System. Cagle delivered the keynote speech during the ceremony.

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FLOWERY BRANCH — A crowd of about a thousand people enjoyed food and fun at Saturday’s grand opening of the Spout Springs Library in Flowery Branch.

The event began at 11 a.m. with literary characters Clifford the Big Red Dog and Amelia Bedelia greeting youngsters and parents outside the new library. Families were entertained by a face painter, juggler and a moonwalk and could munch on free hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and drinks. The grand opening also featured Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who lives in South Hall, as keynote speaker.

Of course, the library itself was abuzz all afternoon as a number of people registered for library cards, checked out books or purchased books in the used book store.

Sonia Henderson of Dacula brought her husband, Carey, and 5-year-old daughter, Ciara. She said the library was great because it was cozy and close to her home.

"It’s a fun library, very vibrant," Henderson said.

She said she also enjoyed the casual reading room, a place where she could relax and also keep an eye on her daughter in the children’s section.

Joan Randall of Flowery Branch first visited the library on Friday and said she was so pleased with it she came back Saturday with her husband, Duane. The couple bought a book each and said the new facility was "marvelous."

At 1 p.m., Tom Oliver, chairman of Hall County Board of Commissioners, began his introductory speech on the steps of the library, but was interrupted by a down pour of sudden rain. The library staff was very accommodating, relocating the speakers and guests to the meeting room.

"So many times we open new jails and we open new correctional facilities, isn’t nice to open a library?" Oliver said during his speech, which was followed by cheering and laughter.

Cagle spoke after a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.

"I cannot tell you how beautiful this facility really is. I have the chance of traveling all over Georgia ... but there’s nothing like coming home," Cagle said during his speech.

"This is going to mean an awful lot to this community. A lot of growth has occurred. The demographics, particularly for kids, is very heavy," said Cagle, who said he was pleased with the turnout and number of services provided by the library.

Cagle was presented with an oversized lifetime library card, courtesy of Hall County Library System.

State Rep. James Mills, who represents the southern portion of Hall County, also spoke at the opening.

Lisa McKinney, assistant director for Community and Human Resources, organized the event and helped in setting up food and dressing the characters.

McKinney, who has worked for the Hall County Library System for four years, said she is the most excited about having a story time room in the new facility.

"It (story time room) will help us make maximum use of everything. We like to do a lot of programming for children and in every other building we don’t have a story time room, so we have to use our meeting room. That means the community groups can’t use the meeting room because we need it for story time," McKinney said.

The library includes a large meeting room that can be separated into two rooms, computer rooms, a casual reading room with a screened in back porch, a children’s section with a separate story time room and a young adult section.

The Spout Springs Library will be offering free computer classes teaching internet skills and other computer applications skills.



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