Wake County opened a new library branch September 26, 2009. The Leesville branch is the closest and most convenient branch for Leesville families.
The new facility, on 5105 Country Trail, houses 59,000 new books and 20 public computers. The modern building is part of a 55-acre city park and is located adjacent to a public playground.
Although students primarily use the internet for research, libraries are still important within education and the community. According to a study of school libraries in Illinois, high schools with frequently visited libraries reported a 3.6% increase in ACT scores. In this respect, Raleigh’s newest library may help students after school closes; public libraries are open until 9 p.m. most nights.
“Libraries are also important cultural centers,” said Ms. Arrowood, a Leesville librarian. “They are places that you can go to for free and borrow books, DVDs, and other media forms.”
At Leesville’s library, many students use the 64 available computers before school starts. “Some of these students will probably use the public library’s computers, seeing as we close at 3:30,” said Arrowood.
Courtney Carol, sophomore, is excited about the new library. “I will use the library more, now that they opened a new one right by the school,” said Carol.
Jean Fargo, Leesville’s branch manager, said, “We are expecting a lot of visitors. We already have more than 80 volunteers, and that just shows how committed this community is.”
Some object to the opening of a new library during the worst financial crisis in years. But for community members, the new library opened just in time. “Library usage has spiked during the recession because more people realize how much money they can save by borrowing books and other media,” said Fargo.
When viewed from that angle, Wake County could not have opened the new library sooner.
In addition to the library, plans are underway for a community center in the same plot of land.
At the opening ceremony, Mayor Charles Meeker recognized the collaboration necessary for the new park and library. “The partnership between Raleigh and Wake County is very important to all of us. We now have a library and a park,” he said, “There will be trails and before too long, there will also be a community center built here.”