GARLAND — Manager Colanda Faison is hearing a lot of good things about the brighter and roomier Miriam Lamb Memorial Library.
In April, the Sampson-Clinton Public Library System announced reconstruction plans for the library. It reopened on May 15 after being closed for two weeks.
“I like it,” Faison said. “The patrons said they like and it seems more inviting and more welcoming whenever they come into the library. One member said it makes her want to stay longer.”
Before the upgrades, the library had a lot of dull colors and paneling. Another upgrade was moving computers in another sections of the library to give patrons more privacy.
“When we first came in, it was a total shock because we didn’t think it was going to turn out this way,” Faison said. “There was some damaging with the paneling.”
She applauded the work of Kidd’s Painting Services, the business contracted to paint the whole interior with bright colors such as yellow, green and orange.
Garland’s library was established in 1977 by Library Director Bill Snyder and was named after a local school teacher known around town for loaning books to students. This year marks the 40th anniversary for the facility. It’s one of four branches in the Sampson-Clinton Public Library system.
The work was a collaboration between the library system and the Town of Garland. In addition to painting, some of the other work included rewiring and rearranging .Close to reopening, Bonney said there was hiccup with Internet service in Garland. But that matter was resolved.
Heather Bonney, director of the Sampson-Clinton Public Libraries, would like to update the furniture at the facility in the future.
“I’ve been working my around to all the branches and we’re updating each one slowly but surely, a little bit at a time,” Bonney said.
She added that Garland was the last major project when it came to updating all of the branches and is ecstatic about the work. She became the director in the early 2000s and began making strides towards having more access and wireless access.
“All of our buildings are beautiful buildings and there’s nothing wrong with them,” Bonney said. “I’m not a person to get rid of a building just because it’s an older building.
“I love our buildings, let’s go ahead and update them and do with what we have.”
The J.C. Holliday Library in Clinton is the only branch maintained by Sampson County officials.
“We are partners with the town,” she said. “The towns are responsible for taking care of the actual buildings and the county is responsible for taking care of the equipment, furnishings, staffing and books.”
For the look of a building, it’s another matter when it comes to financial priorities.
“When you walked into the Garland library, it was like walking back into the ’50s,” Bonney said regarding the appearance. “Everything was very dark.”
After talks with Garland Mayor Winifred Murphy, Bonney said town officials were able to come through with providing assistance with painting and ceiling work. The library system providing wiring.
“We provide a lot of things and I think the library is one of the main staples for the community down there,” Bonney said. “They’re always willing to support us any way they can.”
With renovations one of the goals was to have everything finished before summer and the start of the seasonal reading program for youths.
“That’s our busiest time of the year,” Bonney said.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place in the future for the renovations. An official date has not been set.
The Miriam Lamb Memorial Library is located at 144 S. Church St. in Garland. It is open from 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.