As Indian Land residents explored the new Del Webb Library Sunday, the building transformed into exactly what library board Chairwoman Karen Paulson had long ago said she hoped it would become: Indian Land's "living room."
Parents and their children huddled around small tables in the library's Children's area reading books together, while teenagers gathered near the magazines, catching up on the latest trends and celebrity news. Adults checked out the books, movies and books on tape, gradually finding a comfortable spot to peruse their new material.
Dana Stevenson and Alyson McCann, Indian Land residents who teach in Union County, N.C., browsed the children's area looking for new material to take to their classrooms.
"This is a dream come true for us," Stevenson said.
The children's area was one of the hottest spots at Sunday's grand opening with parents and children exploring the books and computer activities available. Children are such an important part of the new library, Paulson said, that she even included them in the ribbon cutting ceremony.
"Obviously, we built this library for everyone but our children are the ones who desperately need it," Paulson said. "They need the public library experience."
The staff was so busy last week preparing for the library's opening that they couldn't remember what book was the first checked out. But, they suspect that staff member Julie Burke, who checked out "The Host" by Stephanie Meyer, may have been the first.
The first library card issued for the new library went to Sun City Carolina Lakes resident Shirley Adams, who signed up for the card in September at the library's annual fundraiser, the Fall into Fun festival.
This is the first public library to be built in Indian Land. Before it opened this week, Panhandle residents had to travel to Charlotte, Fort Mill or Lancaster to check out books and materials. Many of the more than 200 guests at the library's grand opening on Sunday were excited about how convenient the new facility would be to their homes.
"This will be a big asset to the people of Indian Land," former County Council Chairman Rudy Carter said. "Now as soon as we can get a Post Office, I'll be happy."