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Saturday, April 17, 2021

New library branch to expand in Gainesville’s east side

With construction underway for the newest Alachua County library branch, organizers plan to bring expanded resources for residents to Gainesville’s east side.

The facility will be located at 2841 E. University Ave., near the Eastside Recreation Center and in front of the Fred Cone Park track, which was completed in March.

The library currently operates out of a modular unit that is about 1,000 square feet. Before, a bookmobile serviced the area.

“The biggest difference will be the space and what you can put in that space,” said Nickie Kortus, marketing and public relations manager for the Alachua County Library District.

Organizers have analyzed trends for the community to determine the types of resources that best meet residents’ needs, Kortus said.

The new building will include a dedicated eGovernment computer where library users can fill out forms and applications, a children’s area that will offer parenting resources and a teen game station.

“The difference at this particular branch is that it is a library located at a city park and recreation center,” Kortus said. “So we collaborate with the city of Gainesville to improve recreational and educational opportunities in that community.”

The branch also teamed with Partnership for Strong Families, which provides child welfare, social and community services to the area. The group will have space to operate out of the new library.

“All of these pieces come together to navigate resources that you need to be successful in today’s world,” Kortus said. “If you don’t have access (to technology), that is where the library can be that cohesive piece that brings it all together.”

Construction of the building projected to be 10,000 square feet is expected to end in December, Kortus said.

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