- By J.White
- Posted Thursday, February 18, 2016
Southside Branch Library
The 9,800 square-foot Southside Library is located on a beautiful wooded site at 3185 Buchanan Street in Winston-Salem, NC. The Library serves the southeast section of the city, surrounded by suburbs, a high school, and shopping.
The branch offers a full range of library services to the community with special emphasis on lifelong learning, English as a Second Language (ESL), bilingual programming, and support for students and children’s services. Several unique features include a reading nook with a bay window, an outdoor patio, and a wooded three-acre lot.
Over 108,000 visits were paid to the facility last year. A significant number of registered borrowers live in nearby Davidson County. The Library serves a growing Hispanic population.
Decca Riedel Slaughter is the branch manager.
The original Southside Branch Public Library opened for business on February 23, 1971. It was located at the corner of Konnoak Drive and Corporation Parkway on a tract that served in the 1920s and 1930s as the Holton Amusement Park. The architects for the project, Aubrey Kirby Associates, designed a slope-roofed structure of 4,151 square feet. Southside residents had waited a long time for a library in their neighborhood and had expressed a desire for the building to be as attractive as possible. Of the two building plans proposed, the more expensive design, featuring a better grade of materials, was selected.
When it opened, the original Southside Library became the seventh library location for Forsyth County. It was headed by Mary Anna Howard, formerly head of the Library’s Extension Division. Following Howard, Emily Williams served as the branch manager for many years and guided the transition to a new building.
In the mid-1980s, the original building was torn down by the N.C. Department of Transportation to make way for the new Interstate 40 bypass around Winston-Salem.
The current Southside Branch Library building opened on July 9, 1986. It is named for the late Fred D. Hauser, who was a Forsyth County Commissioner. The new building was designed by the Winston-Salem architectural firm of Calloway, Johnson, & Moore and built at a cost of $795,000.
Other branch managers through subsequent years include Lois Leggett, Elizabeth Skinner, Carolyn Price and Joel White.