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Locations Discussed For New Brookhaven Library

Take our Patch poll and tell us where you would like to see a new library.


Several locations are being examined for a new , including a renovation on its existing site.

"This current location could house a new, 12,000-square-foot community library," said Library Director Alison Weissinger to about 40 people on Wednesday night during .

"Parking at a facility like this would be modeled after the ."

Other locations being considered, Weissinger said, are at the intersection of Peachtree Road and Osborne Drive, where a large open area sits behind the DeKalb County Community Services Center. The area is commonly known as Brookhaven Park, "and the county parks and recreation department has told us it isn't opposed to locating a library there.

"And, even though there's no money currently appropriated for land acquisition, there are several spots on the southside of Dresden Drive that could house a library," Weissinger said.

was first on the county's agenda in the mid-2000s, after a library bond referendum was approved by voters. Initially, plans called for a new library to be located near a renovation of the Brookhaven-Oglethorpe University MARTA station.

"However, that MARTA renovation never came through because of the economy, so we're back to looking at other sites," Weissinger said.

The current library, built in the 1950s, is classified by the DeKalb County Public Library system as a neighborhood facility, with 6,800 square feet and 26 parking spaces. It is open 30 hours a week.

A new facility would be designated a community library and would feature 12,000 square feet. It would operate 48 hours a week, and feature more computers and workstations, reading and meeting areas, study tables and seminar rooms.

Thomas Hogan July 19, 2012 at 11:35 AM
The establishment of a new library in Brookhaven, when there is one on the other side of the Ashford Park neighborhood, on Clairmont Road (less than 3 miles away), is hard evidence of the inefficiency of DeKalb government as it panders to the Brookhaven community. Yes, we would all love to have a new library every 3 miles, but if you took half of the funds needed to create a new library and invested in the one on Clairmont, it may actually be an even more amazing resource. Meanwhile, the library on Clairmont has to resort to volunteer-run book sales in order to get funds needed to support the children's and adult programming, supplementing the Library's book budget (down from $2M in 2008 to $100K in 2012), purchasing equipment for the library, etc. While we're at it. lets use the other half of the funds to LOWER OUR COUNTY TAXES!
Debbi Dietz July 19, 2012 at 01:22 PM
All libraries in DeKalb rely on Friends groups to support programming. That has never changed. Most programs are either paid for by Friends groups or grants not library budget money. The bond money can't be used on any facility within a city limits because of the way it was voted on, the people in the cities didn't vote. And from my understanding, because it is bond money, it can only be used for the projects voted on for the bond. So your wanting to use it elsewhere can't be done. And have you been in that building, Brookhaven library? It needs to be redone. It's amazing how many people just don't get that this is not county tax money and has to be used for the projects DeKalb county voted on.
Don Broussard July 19, 2012 at 02:05 PM
It's good Ms. Weissinger held a public meeting on the library but that is not the same as a public hearing. Decisions for major facilities should have a true public hearing before the DeKalb Planning Commission. There should be planning staff review / evaluation of alternative locations. No offense to Ms. Weissinger, but librarians know how to run libraries, not how — and where — to build them. Let me anticipate the objections of the pro-City crowd who don't want to have anything to do with the anybody at the County. The reality is, you are not seceding from DeKalb, you all will still have to deal with DeKalb water and sewer issues, DeKalb School issues, and all other public services -- like libraries -- that a City of Brookhaven will not be providing. But my main point: libraries costing 3 to 4 million dollars should be planned very carefully and located by people other than just the library staff and the Library Board with their narrow vision. Exhibit A is the (new) Avis G. Williams Library (which is neither near nor is it named Toco Hills) and which, for a $3 million, is hidden on a cul de sac and contributes little or nothing to the built environment of nearby Clairmont Road. Nice library but a poor location and a failure to leverage tax dollars for public benefits.
Steve Walker July 19, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Debbi, you might have just hit the nail on the head, by saying that the bond money can't be used in Cities. Could it be the county is bringing this issue up just before the election trying to sway peoples votes ............Just as they have quadrupled their exposure level in the City hood foot print during this election cycle......
Don Broussard July 19, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Let me correct myself, the library IS named the Toco Hill - Avis G. Williams. I would point out to walk or drive from the library to the shopping center is about a half mile -- and that Toco Hill is not a historic / geographic name for the area but was made up by the developer of the center back in the early 60's (?). But I guess in the suburbs, developers get to name things.
Debbi Dietz July 19, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Don, The cityhood issue does not effect the library. Dunwoody becoming a city did not change library service. Many libraries are located within city limits, Lithonia, Dunwoody, Stone Mountain, Chamblee and are operated by the county library. Only Doraville is city employees. Also, the bond gave money to build a new Brookhaven but may not have been enough to buy land to move it. And I believe they said at the meeting last night that all contracts do have to be voted on by the county commissioners. The entire process was not laid out so how do you know that the planning board is not being consulted? No discussion was held on who the library director is meeting with in the county.
patrick July 19, 2012 at 08:34 PM
I am sorry that you do not remember that in 2005,voters were told that if they voted for the 2005 then we would have a better branch then we have today, the other one WAS NOT in the vote. Please make sure you fact facts before you speak.
Don Broussard July 19, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Debbi, I agree that a new library can be built in any city within DeKalb County as well as outside the cities. I did not say it couldn't. My point was that many pro-city voters probably prefer to avoid dealing with ANY DeKalb government body. Regarding the fact that "the entire process was not laid out," thanks for making my point for me. The library director does not know the process. Second, as a former planning commission member, I can tell you the Library Board / Authority has never brought a site issue to the planning commission for consultation-- at least in the 21st century. But the planning commission does have legal authority to hold a public hearing on such issues and summon the library staff and board to the hearing. It's in their charter -- though they rarely invoke that power. They should.
Debbi Dietz July 19, 2012 at 10:00 PM
I didn't say she didn't know the process, which she may or may not, I said it wasn't discussed. What they did discuss, or maybe I should say asked, was the public input on the location of the library.
Mack July 20, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Expand the current library there is plenty of room behind it and it would make it easier for the citizens to use it in that area. Grew up on Sylvan Circle and remember when it opened . Please do not move it now

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