Library Reopens After Fire

Now that its back open many George County residents say can fully appreciate the value of having library in their community. A fire back in August destroyed computers and left thousands of books covered in smoke and soot. For two months Lucedale was a city without a library.

Steve Cummings says its a good feeling to once again be visit the George County Library. He loves coming here to check out movies and books. A fire temporarily put a stop to that.

"I can't really get around a whole lot so for entertainment the library being closed for the movies and the book was kind of really a handicap for me,"he said. "It's too far to drive to find another one. Thank God it reopened."

From ash filled books to melted computers the fire caused $160,000 worth of damage. Librarians say the two months they were was shut down was a hardship on the children of George County.

Evelyn Read said, "We met with the high school English teachers because seniors have a project every year. We wanted to let them know that the library was going to be closed for a while because the kids need us to get on line and find their sources. So when we opened back up, I think they were very happy about that."

Workers have replaced lights, ceiling tiles, carpeting and well as painted. There is still a lot more to be done to get the library as it was before the fire. The library doesn't have Internet access right now but some people say just being able to come here is enough for now.

"They're so happy that we're back," said Read. "We tell them we're very happy to be back. They've missed us. Some of them say they didn't realize how much they use the library until they didn't have one."

Librarians say they are having a problem with overdue books.. because people who checked out books before the fire were unable to return them. The staff says if you bring the books back before December 1st you will not be fined. Meanwhile, the cause of the fire is still under investigation.