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New Ellenton, Wagener library expansions have residents excited about improvements

Library expansions

Two local libraries are receiving much needed upgrades -- something both employees and visitors alike are excited about. (WRDW-TV / Aug. 22, 2011)

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Aug. 22, 2011

NEW ELLENTON, S.C. -- It can be nice to get your hands on free books, DVDs and music from the library.

And now a couple branches are looking to give you even better service.

We're talking about Wagener and New Ellenton and chances are, those of you from the South Carolina side of the river will benefit.

It's because all the libraries are connected, giving you and your card access to a lot more.

The New Ellenton library is just 500 square feet, but the new building is four times as big.

Jo Shields is an avid library user.

"Oh yes, yes, we are excited, we are really excited about it," Shields said.

Shields along with Branch Manager, Susan Toole, are also happy about the extra books, computers and a place for reading programs.

"Just the newness and niceness of it; I think will be a big help and advantage to this community," Toole said.

And Toole said the place is just too small.

"I think that once we get a new facility that we will have more patrons because they come to use the computers and a lot of times they are busy so they have to leave," Toole said.

Michael Thayer needs to use the computer every day.

"I come to the library to look for work -- I didn't buy a computer when I was at SRS and then I lost my job," Thaver said. "I'm a designer, and unfortunately the only way I can find a job is through the Internet."

There is the only one spot in the New Ellenton library where someone can actually kick back with a book or study and that makes it difficult for the place to stay quiet.

This problem is exactly what's driving some people away, like a father who visited last week.

"He walked in with his three children -- it was after school hours -- and he looked around and he said, 'I don't think I have done my research, I was looking for a quiet place where my children could study and do their homework,'" Toole said.

But Toole is happy to tell them this.

"It really is a good thing that I can encourage them and say you know hang in there, because by Christmas time hopefully we will be in the new facility," said Toole.

The money for the project came from capital project sales tax funding.

This type of expansion is happening in Wagener, too. Both are expected to open around January.

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