Southeast Regional Library908 7th Ave, Garner, NC 27529
History : In 1928, first efforts were made by the Garner Woman's Club to organize a library in Garner. Finally, in 1931, the first Garner library was sponsored by the Garner Woman's Club and opened on Main St. Mrs. Ella Dupree was paid a nominal fee by the WPA to circulate books bought by the Woman's Club. When the library closed in 1933, the Olivia Raney Library bookmobile provided Garner with library service. Intermittent efforts were made from 1933-1955 by the Woman's Club to reopen its library to Garner citizens. Beginning in 1956 the Garner Public Library was open on Thursdays in one room of the Woman's Club Clubhouse located on Hwy. 70. The Woman's Club and Junior Woman's Club members staffed it. During the summer of 1957 members of the Junior Woman's Club conducted story hours for children. In 1960, the Woman's Club library closed and the county bookmobile service once again provided books to the citizens of Garner. In 1968, the Garner Public Library opened on November 8 at 106 E. Main St. in the old Town Hall building (space from the barber shop next door was added later). Sponsored jointly by the town's Golden Age Club and the Woman's Club, the library was staffed by volunteer help with Mrs. Portia Banks serving as head librarian. The library inherited from the Woman's Club library a collection of books dating back to 1931 from its first library. Donations and a collection from Wake County Public Library supplemented this. The Town Board provided the building and its maintenance and appointed a seven-member Library Board of Trustees. Bill Rand served as first chairman of the Library Board of Trustees. In 1970, The Garner Library Board of Trustees entered into a contract with Wake County Public. The county provided library materials, supplies, and personnel for purchasing and processing all books. Garner provided the building and maintenance and would provide funds to employ clerical help. In 1972, the Town of Garner appropriated money for a paid staff. Rosemary Carmichael (supervisor), Evelyn Stevens, and Opal Pegram (library assistants) were the first library employees paid by the Town. In 1975, The citizens of Garner approved a bond issue for a new library building and the Garner Public Library relocated on July 7 to the first building specifically built for that purpose in the new town complex at 902 7th Ave. The new building was 4,500 square feet with a seating capacity of 36 and a book collection capacity of 35,000 volumes. In 1982, Wake County took over management of the library and in 1985, Wake County voters approved a $5 million bond issue for library improvements, including plans for the new Southeast Regional Library next door at 908 7th Ave. Grand opening and dedication of the Southeast Regional Library took place on a snowy Monday night, February 20, 1989. SER opened as the third regional library in the Wake County Public Libraries system. SER was the first fully automated library in the system. The 22,000 square foot facility with a seating capacity of 200 was built at a cost of $1.6 million. In 1991, Rosemary Carmichael resigned as branch supervisor after serving twenty years in that capacity and Mike Wasilick was named the new branch manager. In 1993, Gail Harrell was appointed branch manager, and still holds that position today.