The Southeast Regional Library will relocate a few buildings away while it undergoes renovations in October.
The library will temporarily relocate to the old police station headquarters on Seventh Avenue after the police department moves all of its things into its new headquarters.
Renovations are expected to begin on Oct. 5 and will last about five months, said Wake County Libraries Deputy Director Ann Burlingame.
When it is completed, the new library will have a different layout, new carpet, new shelving, new furnishing, more programming, a new space for adult programming and more space for staff.
She said the county hopes the renovations will be finished in February so it can reopen in early March.
The library will close its old facility on Sept. 26 and reopen in the temporary location on Oct. 1. The move was initially supposed to take place in August. But the police department isn’t supposed to move out until Aug. 17.
That would have put Garner without a library for about six weeks, until the police department had completely moved out and the library had completely moved in.
“But Wake County facilities, design and construction looked at the project and was willing to push it back,” Burlingame said.
Prior to the town stepping up, the library was in jeopardy of not having a space to relocate. And the county had not allocated any funding for relocation. Only for the renovations, which were part of a countywide 2007 bond.
Garner residents sent emails expressing concerns about where they would return and pick up books, inquiring about public computers and whether there would be programming for young children.
“They don’t want to have to drive to Cameron Village to pick up or return their books,” Burlingame said. “And they certainly don’t want to drive their all the way there to take their child to story time.”
But Burlingame said Garner’s town manager stepped up and offered the old police station.
“It’s part of our mission at the town to serve our citizens and the folks that use the Southeast Regional Library,” Town Manager Hardin Watkins said. “And we want to do anything and everything we can do to help their experience be as good as it can be. We know libraries are improtant to all of our residents, and we want to make sure those services continue during the renovation period.”
The town will not charge the library rent and utilities.
While the library is housed in the old police station for a few months, a few programs will be temporarily cut. The library will only offer programming for young children (infant to five-years-old). The library will not do adult programming. But it is currently working with the town to find a space for school-aged children (K-5).
“It was great that the town came to us with a building that could be used for the library,” Burlingame said. “This is just a great example of the Town of Garner and Wake County working together to make sure that community didn’t lose library service.”
Hours and location during renovation
The temporary location for the library will be on 900 7th Ave. The hours will be Monday - Thursday, from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. The library will be closed on Sundays.