More than books

After having been open for two months at its new location, the Kernersville Library has seen significant growth and is one of the busiest in Forsyth County.
Going from a space that was 5,000 – 7,000 square feet to a building that is 20,000 square feet, Stephanie Kellum, youth services librarian, said they are now significantly larger and have many new additions.
Kellum said they have two small rooms, a conference room that seats six – 12 people and an auditorium that can hold 100 – 150 people.
“This is the first time we’ve had a really big auditorium,” she stated.
She added that the small rooms and conference room are great for tutoring and for businesses who need a conference space for meetings or training. Kellum said you can book the conference room on their website for free, but the meetings cannot be for a private event.
“We also have a nice courtyard outside, which will be nice to use for story time when it starts to get warm,” she said, adding that there are outlets available outside for people to plug their computers into.
Kellum said they have seen an increase in the number of people and families attending story time, as well as people walking through the door each day.
“We have seen a lot of new families and we are making a lot of new library cards,” she said. “Some days, we circulate more items than any other library.”
Included in their additional, Kellum noted that they have a Children’s Room, which is ocean themed and features a large mural on the wall. There are also sensory toys on several of the bookshelves as you walk in for young children to play with. Other things that are new include a play kitchen, a reading nook for kids to climb in for a private, comfortable place to read, and technology.
“We have two children’s gaming computers with educational games and four internet computers, which we didn’t have at the old library. They are for children ages 4 – 12 to use for homework and there is a printer attached,” she shared. “Another great thing we have in this area is a family bathroom, so families don’t have to trek back to the front of the library.”
Kellum noted that they have a new story time room, which they didn’t have before. When they were in their previous location, they had to borrow space from the Senior Center.
“We have been filling that room up every week,” she said. “It’s great for crafts, too.”
With the addition of this room, Kellum said they have been able to open up Lego Storytime to more people.
“This is held on the first Tuesday night of each month at 6 p.m. and is for ages 2 – 5. It’s designed around kindergarten readiness, so we read a book, sing a song and build something on that theme, and then we talk about what they built and read,” she explained.
Kellum said they now have a space just for teens, called the Teen Zone.
“We didn’t have that before at all,” she remarked. “Now, they have a space to hang out and do their homework.”
In the Teen Zone, there are four internet computers that can be used for homework, one gaming computer that has been very popular, and an all teen collection of books, magazines, graphic novels and movies.
“We have two gaming areas for teens and will be getting some video games for them to play, which are very similar to the ones at Central Library,” she said.
Crystal Holland, branch manager for the Kernersville Library, explained that, in total, they have 20 computers, when they previously only had eight.
“That doesn’t include our catalog computers and the two self-checkout computers, which are wildly popular,” she said.
In the adult area, they doubled their soft, comfortable seating and added two coffee tables.
Holland shared that with the move to their new location, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners approved for them to have one more full-time staff member. The new staff member is Library Assistant Diarra Leggett.
“We’ve expanded our film offerings to include documentaries with directed Q&As and (Leggett) helps to direct these,” she said. “We’ve had one so far. Our next one will be on Friday, February 22.”
Holland added that Leggett is very creative with programming and coordinates the art wall, which currently features local artists from the Water Color Group out of the Senior Center.
Kellum said they have a Maker Space area, which is used for all programs and open craft times.
“We have crafting supplies for people to use in this area, and we will be adding a 3-D printer and two sewing machines for people to use,” she said.
Holland said with the Maker Space, they also have more opportunities for volunteers to help.
“Library Assistant Melissa Lavely is working with this and coordinates the volunteers since we have opened,” she said.
Along with the additional space inside, Kellum noted that outside, they have additional parking for the library.
“We also have a drive-up book drop, so you don’t have to get out of your car,” Holland said.
Holland added that they now are also open seven days a week.
“We are now open on Sundays from 1 – 5 p.m.,” she said.
The Kernersville Library is located at 248 Harmon Ln. For more information, call 336-703-2930 or visit www.forsyth.cc/library/kernersville.

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