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Porter library celebrates one year
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The Porter Memorial Branch Library is having a one-year anniversary celebration from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. today at the library, 6191 Ga. Highway 212, Covington.

The library was certified Gold LEED in December, becoming only the second library in Georgia to receive the honor. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a third-party certification program run by the U.S. Green Building Council and is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.

The 19,200-square foot library opened Jan. 10, 2011, and cost $6 million to build. The library features an abundance of natural lighting to reduce power usage, a raised floor to efficiently regulate temperatures and provide flexible infrastructure, a landscape of indigenous plants that eliminates the need for irrigation and a rainwater-collection system that further reduces water usage.

Along with books, DVDs and CDs, the library also has a 50-seat auditorium; conference room; quiet reading room with magazines and newspapers; area for new books and audiovisual materials; primary service desk; self-service checkout of all items; outdoor book drop; video monitors for announcements, programs and study; six study rooms, teen collection and activity area; and a children's department, featuring a three-dimensional art tree, activity area for arts and crafts and play, children's computer area and a family room.

The library has 20 computers for adults and four for teens that can be reserved, and 32 public computers.
There's also free wireless Internet access throughout the building and in the outdoor picnic shelter.