Children's area to be closed at library for repairs

COVINGTON -- The children's area at the Covington branch of Newton County Library will be closed for renovations beginning Sunday through May 13.

New carpeting will be installed, and the children's collection will not be available during this time. It is possible for patrons to put items on hold at the front desk or online through their PINES account, and those items will be available once renovations are complete. The children's sections at the Porter Memorial and Newborn facilities will not be impacted.

At a library board meeting earlier this month, Director Lace Keaton said the carpeting was a safety hazard.

"There are wrinkles in that carpet that some kids can actually catch their foot on," Keaton said.

The library system has obtained a $20,000 state grant to put new carpet in the children's area. The grant requires an equal local match, which will be taken from a restricted fund designated for the children's area, Keaton said.

Carpet squares will be installed so they can easily be removed and replaced in case of stains or unraveling.

Currently, there is more shelving in the room than is needed, so some shelving will be reduced to open the room up for more sitting space for patrons. In addition, an accordion door into the old story time room will be removed for more space.

The Board of Trustees approved Dalton Carpet One of Gainesville to install the carpet at a cost of $27,778.70 and Florida Library Designs of High Springs, Fla., to handle the move of the collection at a cost of $14,875.

The Covington branch is also in need of roof repairs and a new HVAC system. The library system has applied for a $100,000 grant for repairs and renovation of the roof. Water is coming inside the building and trickling down the wall in the genealogy room. The grant has been approved by the General Assembly, but has not been officially assigned by the governor; if that happens, it will be available on July 1. An equal local match is required, so the library has started a fundraising campaign called Raise the Roof and so far, $1,120.89 has been raised. Donations can be dropped off at any library location or mailed to Raise the Roof at NCLS; 7116 Floyd St; Covington, GA, 30014.