Provided by Prince William County
More than 300 visitors to the new Montclair Community Library recently got a sneak peek of the library on Waterway Drive.
“This is a long-awaited library,” said Potomac District Supervisor Maureen Caddigan during the ceremony. “Thirty years ago, South Lake Shopping Center proffered land for a library in this community, and the successful bond referendum voted on by the taxpayers was approved in 2006; and here we are today celebrating this magnificent building.”
Proffers are voluntary contributions developers make to offset and adverse effects their developments might have on the community.
Constance Gillman, director of the Prince William Public Library System, spoke on how libraries are “vital and of value to the community.” She went on to say that libraries are centers for democracy, places to learn in the digital age, places to explore, interact, imagine, and learn. She said libraries host diverse populations and will remain relevant to the community, and that the Montclair Community Library exemplified those qualities. “It will be a place, not only to learn and check out materials, but it will be a gathering place for this community. This branch will reflect the changing needs of 21st century citizens … by remaining flexible and vital.”
With its wood-lined ceiling, handcrafted stonework and large, picture windows, the design of the library is inspired from a tree house. There will be 33 public access computers and Wi-Fi capability for library patrons to use, as well as four small meeting rooms, a quiet study room, a multi-purpose community room and outdoor terrace.
The library will also incorporate the Barnes House, which is one of the county’s only remnants of a post-Civil War African settlement. Caddigan said the Barnes House, which was built in 1797 in Independent Hill by a local family of African American and American Indian descent, was an “important link to the post-Civil War African American cultural experience here in Prince William County.” When the library is complete, the Barnes House will become a reading room and interpretive center.
Congressman Rob Wittman, who also spoke at the ceremony, said the community could be proud of the library and all the work it took to get the library built. He, too, said libraries are essential. “Our libraries truly are the hearts and souls of our community. They’re a place where people come together, where they can share information. They can share time. They can share company. They can come here and learn.”
Wittman went on to say that the library would thrive once it is open to the public in late December or early January. “Today is the first step in the process. The building is an important part of this, but this building will come alive because of what each and every one of you in this community will do to make it come alive.”
For more information about libraries, visit www.pwcgov.org/library.
For pictures of the new Montclair Community Library, visit www.flickr.com/