Residents who live closer to Ga. 400 than they do to downtown Dawsonville will now have a more convenient option in where they receive and drop off library materials. The Dawson County Board of Commissioners approved for the Dawson County Library to set up a small auxiliary location at Fire Station #2, which is located on Hwy. 53 W. right off of Ga. 400 (past the Tractor Supply store). A small room will be open certain days of the week for people to be able to pick up previously ordered library materials. Chestatee Regional Library System Director Claudia Gibson said that they expect to be open approximately two days out of the week at the beginning. "We've had people coming in to the library for, I would say the past 10 years, saying that they wish we had a library down at 400," she said. "I think the need (for a Ga. 400 library location) has been there all along." The room would be stocked with books and CDs, coming from library patron donations. "We will be picking out the more popular authors and putting those down there," Gibson said. "We may buy a few titles, too, just to make sure we have what people want down there. I'm hoping we can buy a few CDs and audio books, because commuters like to listen to those." Dawson library branch manager Stacey Leonhardt says that the library expects this new service to be used mainly by people who commute to and from Atlanta. "We have a lot of commuters that will come in to the library and pick up stacks and stacks of audio books, which they listen to as they drive back and forth from Atlanta," she explained. "The main problem has been making sure they can get back to our location in that two-week timeframe. This will hopefully give them an option that's more readily available, rather than them having to find the time to drive up to our main branch in downtown Dawsonville." People who place holds on library materials via the library's website will also have the option to pick up their choices from the Ga. 400 location, if they desire. "People place books on-hold online all the time," Gibson said. Now, she explained, there will be a drop-down menu for people to select between the main Dawsonville branch and this new Ga. 400 satellite location. Gibson and Leonhardt hope that, at some point, a drop-off box can be placed in the area for people to be able to drop off their library materials 24/7. "That's a funding issue," Gibson explained. "Those drop-off boxes are very expensive, so we're hoping to raise enough money." She also said that, if and when a drop-off box is placed at that location, a library employee would have to make the trip to the location daily, so there are various logistics to figure out before a drop-off box is placed at the location. The idea was brought up at the April 11 work session of the commissioners. Chairman Mike Berg said that he had discussed the issue with both Dawson County Emergency Services Director Billy Thurmond, and Sheriff Billy Carlisle, with both men saying that housing some library materials in Fire Station #2 shouldn't be an issue. "And we'll see how this goes," Berg said at the work session. "If there's more need, then we'll have to try to fill that need. But it's an opportunity for those folks on that side of the county." Gibson said that it would take some time to get the space ready, but they are hopeful for the satellite location to open in early Summer. "We are so excited, and we'll see how it goes," she said.
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