FAIRMOUNT HEIGHTS – The local branch of the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System is finally reopened for business after closing its doors for more than a year. Nearly 40 years after its original opening, the branch closed its doors for major renovations in 2013. The Fairmount Heights Branch started as an experimental library in […]
FAIRMOUNT HEIGHTS – The local branch of the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System is finally reopened for business after closing its doors for more than a year.
Nearly 40 years after its original opening, the branch closed its doors for major renovations in 2013.
The Fairmount Heights Branch started as an experimental library in the early 1970s by a group of University of Maryland library students, according to Kathleen Teaze, director of the library system.
“It has since been a very integral part of the Fairmount Heights community,” she said.
The system does a cycle of renovations and tries to renovate one branch per year.
“We try to take a look at each of the specific needs in the community,” said Teaze. “We respond to things that we see the community has asked for or shown us that they are going to use. Over time buildings get worn out.”
Sue Miller, the site supervisor at the Fairmount Heights Branch Library for seven years, said she is pleased with the renovations.
“When I first came here seven years ago the building was in need of renovation,” she said.
The branch had a “soft opening” on Sept. 1, but held its official grand reopening event on Wednesday.
The renovated facility, led by design team Grant Brunnett Architects, kept its frame while the interior has been revamped. The new building has improved heating and air-conditioning systems, new windows, carpet and new paint jobs. There are also new information monitors, multiple personal access computer stations, and self-checkout machines. There is also a fax machine—something the branch never had. The children’s room is decorated in a colorful outer space theme with a nearly six-foot spaceship structure situated in the middle of the room.
Customers will also find the branch is now home to a state-of-the-art Digital Resources for Electronic Applications in Media (D.R.E.A.M.) Lab.
“It is the first one in the county library system and one of the few in the country,” Teaze said.
The lab will allow visitors to use equipment capable of making videos and sound recordings through art programs in order to create apps, computer programs and games and learn code. The technology center is not currently open but should be open within the next couple of months, Teaze said.
Prior to the renovation, Miller said the branch would have a couple hundred customers at a time rotating only 20 computers.
“We’ve had times you know you couldn’t get a computer before in here,” said Miller.
There are now 60 computers; two of which are Macs in the D.R.E.A.M lab.
Seat Pleasant resident and mother of two, Eboni Williams, said she thinks the new renovations are great.
“My kids are in here now looking for books to read for 20 minutes,” Williams said. “They need to read.”
“These renovations have truly helped us to be able to better meet the ongoing needs of the community,” said Teaze.
The Fairmount Heights branch is open Monday- Thursday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The branch is closed on Fridays.
The?New?Carrollton branch library is the next slated to undergo renovations.