By Cheryl Rodewig, THE BAYONETJuly 24, 2009
FORT BENNING, Ga. - The Donovan Research Library has a new look.
Located near the commissary and the Pins & Daubers Bingo Hall on Marne Road, the library has a more open floor plan, compared with its previous location in Infantry Hall. It also has new books for recreational reading.
People will be surprised, said Ericka Loze-Hudson, the library director. The library is airy and open with a wider variety of books and more space for reading or group studies.
Loze-Hudson decided to partner with Sayers Memorial Library on Main Post earlier this year to build a small collection of fiction and nonfiction books, since more families were visiting Donovan in its new location, she said.
Besides the research literature, magazines, war movies and newspapers that were part of the regular collection, the library has added mysteries, romances, how-to books, children's stories, audio books and The New York Times bestsellers.
During the school year, Donovan hosts kids' story times with the Parent to Parent program.
Finding the library would be "right in the heart" of shopping on post was a pleasant surprise, said Rebecca Hodne, who PCSed to Fort Benning two weeks ago. Hodne visited the library Monday with her three daughters, Lauren, Kristen and Carolyn.
"It worked out really well for us. We're actually on our way to the commissary," Hodne said.
"I have three avid readers. My kindergartner was very happy to find a Dr. Seuss book. My fourth-grader was excited to find a book about women who fly. My fifth-grader found one that she liked as well, a book by an author she recognized."
Hodne said she will definitely return to the library, where the staff is helpful and the selection and location are convenient.
Tiffany Alsup, who works at the Java CafAfA, visits the library nearly every day.
"I come here on my lunch breaks and use the computers and the newspapers," she said. "It's quiet. It's relaxing, and if you want to just sit and read a book, you've got a lot of area. It's huge. You can come in here and just take time to breathe."
In its new location, the library averages more than 300 visitors per day, including students, civilians who work nearby and family members, Loze-Hudson said.
Donovan's success will be acknowledged Friday at the Fort Benning quarterly recognition of excellence breakfast where the staff will receive the Team of Excellence Award.
The Team of Excellence Award focuses on a specific process that the single organization has improved upon, said Janie Pearson, program manager for the excellence breakfast.
For the library, that process was the move from Infantry Hall to their swing space on Marne Road.
The move allowed staff to update and organize the permanent and circulating collections and expand their services with Fort Benning families in mind, Loze-Hudson said. The material is also more accessible since it is all located on one floor.
"It's indescribable until you come and see," she said. "Libraries are for everybody. We want everybody to come in."
The library is expected to be in their temporary location at the old PX, Building 9230, for the next two years.
To search the library's collection online visit https://www.infantry.army.mil/donovan. Library hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, call 706-545-5661 or e-mail the library's reference desk at DonovanRefDesk@conus.army.mil.