Main library branch reopens

Cullman County Public Library System Circulation Manger Laura Benton checks out library books to sisters Sadie (right) and Hadley Midland on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023. (Tiffany McKoy)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The main branch of the Cullman County Public Library System finally reopened its doors to the public on Tuesday, Sept. 5, almost a month after an Aug. 7 storm blew out windows and caused damage in the back portion of the building.

According to Circulation Manager Laura Benton, it was a very long and slow process trying to ensure that all the glass was removed from the shelves, books and carpet, but she said she was happy to finally see the library open again. She was also thrilled to see how many people showed up for the reopening.

Josie Harrington, who took on the role of library director amid the reopening, expressed excitement as she navigated the process.

“It’s really exciting honestly. I mean, as I mentioned before, it is kind of chaotic, a little daunting, but overall, it is very exciting,” Harrington said. She expressed her gratitude at being able to serve the community once again and highlighted the positive energy brought by having patrons back in the library.

“It’s nice to actually have people in here again, instead of just the staff. I love my staff, but yes, it’s nice to have people and feel alive again,” Harrington smiled.

Annette Johnson, a loyal library patron, stated, “We have missed these ladies and I am so glad that they are back open, and everybody is upbeat.” Her affection for the library and its staff was evident as she spoke about the positive atmosphere. “We love our library and are so happy to have it back.”

While the non-fiction section is unavailable at the moment, except for large-print books, the rest of the sections are open to patrons. Harrington said the technology center was unaffected and is also open to the community once again.

“We’re able to offer our computers again, and that’s a big thing! I’m sure people have missed that,” she stated.

Harrington said the library staff will keep patrons up to date on regular programs and future events.

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