• By Mary Giunca
  • Posted Thursday, December 20, 2018

About 200 people turn out for ribbon cutting at the new Paddison Memorial Branch in Kernersville

They posed for pictures in front of the new children's Storytime Room and exclaimed over the view of the lake. Many of the people who attended the ribbon cutting for the new Paddison Memorial Branch already had plans for which areas they would use first.

"It's gorgeous," said Joyce Whalen, who has lived in Kernersville for 12 years and visits the library once or twice a week. "The patio is beautiful. It's spacious. You can see more of the collection when there's so much space."

Whalen said she could see her homeowners association holding meetings in the new library.

Ground was broken for the $6-million project in September 2017. With 20,000 square feet of space, the new library branch is double the size of the former library, which closed in November.

The Paddison Branch is the third library in Kernersville. It features a makerspace, three public meeting spaces, a courtyard and an auditorium that can seat over 150 people.

"Public libraries are for everyone and are among the diverse, democratic public spaces in our community," said Donna Staley, the chairwoman of the Forsyth County Public Library system's board of trustees. "With our increased focus on education, especially ensuring that all of our children are performing at grade level or better, libraries are a critical component of our educational system."

Bruce Boyer, who serves on the Kernersville Board of Aldermen, said that he visited other libraries to help him understand what features are important in modern libraries. Kernersville has succeeded as a community because of its sense of place, he said, and the new library fulfills that vision.

He is looking forward to introducing his grandchildren to the new library and is working on a project with the local Kiwanis Club that will use the new makerspace to encourage young readers.

"You whet their appetites for education," he said, "when you get them to see the value of books."

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