New Gwinnett County Public library opens in Snellville

Credit: Jillian Price/AJC

Credit: Jillian Price/AJC

Suzanne Johnson took her two kids to the Gwinnett County’s newest library branch on Monday — the Elizabeth H. Williams branch in Snellville, which officially opened Monday as a part of a growing mixed-use development called The Grove.

“Just the freshness and newness of it. I’ve always been impressed with Gwinnett’s library collection,” Johnson said.

The two-story, 44,000-square-foot branch cost $11.5 million and includes adult, teen and children’s areas, 30 computer workstations, three study rooms and a multipurpose room. The second floor houses a new THRIVE coworking space, where businesses and people from different companies can share an office. The facility also houses learning labs where songs or podcasts can be recorded.

The city and county are both chipping in money from their Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax to pay for the facility.

Credit: Jillian Price/AJC

Credit: Jillian Price/AJC

“Libraries in general are beneficial to residents. I mean, not only is it a return on their tax dollars, but it also develops that sense of space and sense of place for that community,” Gwinnett County Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson said.

Hendrickson said the library will help residents develop and enhance new skills.

“This site specifically does allow for enhanced skills, whether you want to develop a new record or if you want to help enhance your business, you have a space and an incubator to be able to do that,” she said. “I think this library means a lot for the city of Snellville, for the residents who are immediately in this vicinity, but also to the community at large.”

Snellville mayor Barbara Bender said the city is excited for the new branch, after about 18 months of construction.

“This is one of the things that we’ve been counting on to really bring in everyone into this downtown area and really energize the space,” Bender said, adding that she thinks the new library and the development will have a solid economic impact on the city.