By Jeanne E. Fredriksen
A long wait is ending for Yvonne Allen, and the library manager couldn’t be happier.
“It was part of the 2003 bond, and the plans were developed in 2008, but the county put building projects on hold because of the economy. Now we’re back in business and about to open,” said Allen, regional library manager at the new Northeast Regional Library.
Located at the corner of Green Elm and Forest Pines in Wakefield, the facility is scheduled to host its grand opening and ribbon cutting on Saturday, April 16.
Allen managed the Wake Forest Community Library at 400 E. Holding Ave. from 2005 through 2013 and then the Southeast Regional Library in Garner from 2013 until recently. She is excited not only because the project is finally completed but also because she’s a resident of Wake Forest.
“It’s like coming home,” she said. “It’s finally here. We’re excited about that.”
The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. April 16. County officials will say a few words, there will be an invocation and a group of children will assist in the cutting of the ribbon. Following that, the public will be invited into the library.
Post-ribbon cutting activities inside the library will include a puppet show for the children, and adult services librarians will explain the services offered. Allen intends to have stations set up so that customers can speak with the adult services librarians to learn more about using the services, such as making an appointment to learn how to download electronic books to a Kindle or other device, taking part in “how to get a job” workshops, and receiving help in choosing book club discussion titles.
“We definitely want to highlight those services,” Allen said.
Other highlights include the 120,000 new books that fill the library and will be put into circulation that day. Laptop users will be pleased because along the walls are laptop stations – little kiosks with electronic outlets and stools. Allen said that in all of the Wake County libraries, people come in to use the free Wi-Fi and want to use their laptops.
“But they need a couple of things,” she said. “They need a good place to sit and use their laptops, and they also need a place to plug in so they can use electricity and maintain their battery. We’ve got that along the walkway, and we also have Wi-Fi bars behind the customer service desk.”
In addition, some seating at tabletops offers outlets for plugging in. And these amenities for users of laptops and other devices don’t include the 22 public computers provided.
The array of programs offered by the library will mirror those throughout the county. However, the schedule will start off a little lighter in May as the staff gets a feel for timing and response. Once June arrives, they plan to be in full force with programs.
“It’s going to be fun,” Allen said. “We’ll have some very light refreshments the day that we open, and we’re looking forward to everyone coming out to celebrate the opening of this library that’s finally here.”