The new Pleasure Island Branch of the New Hanover County Library is hosting a grand opening ceremony in Carolina Beach this Saturday, Nov. 21.
The new location is at 1401 N. Lake Park Blvd. in the Snow’s Cut Shopping Center next to Food Lion. The 4,000-square-foot space is more than twice as large as the former location, allowing the branch to offer a small meeting room for its patrons to use. It opened to the public this past Monday with some help from the community.
“Our patrons moved our books for us,” said Sharon Walters, a retired New Hanover County employee who works at the library as a part-time assistant. “That’s how our library was moved, with the help of these wonderful people.”
According to Patricia Dew, the supervising librarian of the Myrtle Grove and Pleasure Island branches, many library card holders checked out books at the old location, a 1500-square-foot space at 300 Cape Fear Blvd., and returned them at the new location.
“We had a lot of people come in asking how they could help, and this is what we told them they could do,” said Dew. “I’d say 99 percent of our books were moved this way.”
Workers from the county moved the large items such as computers and other electronics. Dew said that the facility, which has all new furniture and bookshelves, is almost completely set up with the exception of some tables that have yet to arrive.
Thanks to the larger space, the new Pleasure Island Branch will have expanded areas for their most popular titles and new releases, among others, as well as a children’s area that is four times bigger than the old one. According to Dew, young readers will be able to enjoy story time and interactive activities such as life-sized blocks and a kiosk that’s set up as different things (it’s currently a grocery store) to help them learn words.
A sample of some of the library’s offerings will be on display at Saturday’s event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to a ribbon cutting and cake and refreshments provided by the New Hanover Friends of the Public Library, there will also be board games, crafts time and story time to entertain visitors. Tours of the building will be led by volunteers from Island Women.
According to Dew, the Cape Fear Museum will be on hand to lead some children’s activities. She also said New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chairman Jonathan Barfield and Emilie Swearingen, the Kure Beach mayor-elect, will be making speeches.
“It’s really a community event,” Dew said.
Though it has only been officially opened for a few days, Walters said the response to the new and improved library from the community has already been positive.
“They love it,” Walters said. “Everybody’s really excited about it.”
“We’re looking forward to using this bigger space,” said Dew. “We’re really happy with it. We think it will be a great asset to Carolina Beach and Kure Beach.”