The Carnegie Library of Newnan

Needs Assessment





Top Ranking:  A Cultural Venue offering Lecture Series – Strategic location and well planned lecture series bring an underserved population downtown


Overall, this was the top service chosen in a targeted field study of likely library users.  The demographics were across the board – from Wesley Woods retirees to young parents with several children to our downtown merchants.  The enthusiasm for this was unparalleled.  Implementation of this service could:


  • Address a very underserved adult population
  • Offer a cohesive, well thought out year long diverse lecture series that would educate and inform the entire adult population
  • Bring a target market downtown from all areas that could feed into shops, restaurants and nightclubs during the day and evening
  • Expose downtown merchants to a continual flow of new customers
  • Enhance the walkability of downtown
  • Promote and market downtown, many Summergrove and Wesley Woods residents do not know where “downtown” is
  • Complements goals of Central Park redevelopment, acts as a catalyst for attracting better mixed use development


A well-planned year round lecture series could attract more interest in downtown, in living downtown and spending the day downtown.  This will keep Newnan’s city core more vital as other new and larger shopping developments lure customers away


To attract business, civic and private groups for rental purposes, a small caterer’s kitchen is highly recommended adjacent to the room.  As space allows a large multi-purpose meeting room would be useful.


Additionally a lecture room could provide:


  • Meeting space at no charge for municipal events sponsored by the city and functions of police and fire departments
  • Interim space for use by the Central Park college prospect
  • Rental income from business, civic and private groups



Second Ranking:  Preschoolers Learning Center - Serving Children Locally as No Other Facility Can


This was overwhelmingly the choice of Preschool parents and Summergrove. The unique vicinity to seven preschools within walking distance is an incredible attribute of this facility.  Many preschools are unable to offer more cultural outings to their children due to transport issues.  Walkability can offer approximately 400 children in the Carnegie’s neighborhood the experience of weekly storytimes and special programs (upstairs in lecture room if needed) they would not otherwise have.  Many of the children do not have parents who can or will drive them out to the Hospital Road facility.  This is a very important service to these and all children.


Other Needs-


A Popular Materials Center was third in ranking of greatest need.  Currently downtown does not offer an enclosed public space for quiet relaxation. 


  • Comfortable adult setting would accommodate parents of children attending programs
  • Periodicals would draw people downtown who would then frequent local establishments
  • Allows a waiting area and community meeting space for diverse functions within and external to the library
  • Provides handicapped or impaired visitors to downtown a place to go (particularly valuable for bus-transported clientele from facilities such as Wesley Woods, Georgian Terrace, etc)
  • Periodical room would service a key market to downtown, parents and retirees


Children’s & Adult’s Bestseller Checkout Service   Historically, this was the basis of the grant from Andrew Carnegie, is a key component of all Carnegie Libraries and is a service that is expected from all of Newnan’s demographics.  For a small, newly reformed library, leasing services are available on bestsellers which would allow the director to change out titles as needed avoiding a stockpile of passé books.  Children’s books could be housed in their own reading/storytime room.  It is expected from response so far, that grants from both state and federal sources and donations from our own citizens would easily provide for the children’s service. 


Additionally, many adults and children do not have transportation to Hospital Road.  This would allow a population who travels on foot only access to books.  This was why Andrew Carnegie funded libraries and sited them within neighborhoods and town squares.


Education and Business Support Center  Although not the top pick of most respondents, usability and function of this service is not generally well-known in the community.  Wi-fi is a new technology to most, but libraries must change to survive and be relevant and this is a service that will be expected among a rising demographic of computer savvy individuals.  Walled study/reading/meeting rooms are also a new concept.  Among those familiar with both of these offerings, there was a high level of enthusiasm.  They would uniquely serve a wide demographic – students, teachers, businesses, lawyers, small civic groups and book clubs, etc.



In summation, there are needs that this facility, built and strategically  positioned as a resource for the community many years ago, can uniquely provide.  It is now empty and awaiting its future.  Its future may be its past – returning this building built for the people in 1904 – back to the community who so enthusiastically supports it, in 2007.  This is the oldest existing Carnegie Library in Georgia today, and if returned to a library, would be the first Carnegie Library in the country to return as a library to its original footprint.  The Carnegie Library would not only be a legacy to the city of Newnan and the state of Georgia, but the application of modern, community-driven library services within the historic walls of this grand building would be groundbreaking in promoting the revitalization and integrity of Carnegie libraries and their mission throughout the country and the world.


Thank you for your interest in this great endeavor –


The Friends of the Carnegie