Wake County commissioners and the school board have formally approved an agreement that will keep the Athens Drive Community Library open.
The library, which is located inside Athens Drive High School in west Raleigh, was set to close this summer after Wake school officials said they were taking on too much responsibility for what was supposed to be a county operation.
Under the approved agreement, Athens Drive Community Library will be open for extended hours, and the county will pay for more staffing and security updates.
In July, Wake schools attorney Benita Jones told the county in a memo that the school system was taking on too much financial responsibility for paying library staff. The county was not paying the staff on par with what Wake County schools librarians made, so the district was paying the difference, the memo said.
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At their meeting Monday, commissioners approved two full-time librarians and two part-time librarian assistants for the Athens Drive library. Those positions include a library branch manager, which will free the school system from running the library’s day-to-day operations.
The county will also provide a security guard.
New staff will cost $189,000, according to the agreement. Wake County will pay for all of it, and the school system will not be required to pay for anything new under the agreement.
With a branch manager and a clear separation of staff, there shouldn’t be any more issues with staffing, said County Manager Jim Hartmann.
The county will also install larger signs on Avent Ferry Road and Athens Drive, and signs directing visitors to the library will be placed around the campus. The county also will add events to the library’s calendar for the general public and add parking spots for library patrons.
Starting Sept. 8, the public will be able to visit the library from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
The library will be reserved for students and teachers from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. on weekdays.
County officials said they will continue to meet with community members to begin to make improvements to the operations at the Athens Drive library.