GREENVILLE — The Flat River Community Library celebrated its 15th anniversary at its Judd Road location this week, and even though it’s only a few blocks from its previous home, it might as well be light-years.
“By being in the new location, we’ve really been able to expand our services,” said Library Director Laura Powers on Thursday afternoon, surrounded by patrons sifting through rows of books and tooling around on the computers. “We have the facilities to meet peoples’ needs and be a meeting place in the community.”
A decade and a half ago, the library was struggling to fit everyone who signed up for reading programs at their location on Franklin Street. With a larger community room and plenty more square footage at the new building, which was constructed in 1998 on a vacant lot, space is no longer a problem for the library.
“This is definitely a larger place, a much larger place,” said Tim West, reference librarian. “We have expanded the number of internet access panels, I think we had two in the old location. Our collection is definitely larger as well.”
In honor of the 15th anniversary at the new digs, library officials hosted an open house Thursday to reacquaint the community with the library and the services it offers.
“We’re kind of treating this like ‘get to know the library again,’” said Powers, who was presenting to those in attendance a language software the library makes available to cardholders. Officials were manning several “booths,” each highlighting a different service at the library. “It’s kind of an opportunity to re-introduce people to the library and the services we offer.”
Patron Marta Lores, 60, who has been a member of the Flat River Library since she was young, said she really enjoyed the old library, but can’t help but notice the extra space in the new one.
“I remember that library with fondness, but this is a wonderful library”, she said as she thumbed through a bookshelf. “Here, it’s bigger and there is the new technology here. They do so many things with the kids, which is why I love this library.”