Coming Soon to Our Town – a New Library!

So — I just have to post my excitement over the opening dedication of our *new* public library in our quaint rural town. Who but my fellow bibliophiles can appreciate this momentous event?! When I first moved to this town of 4,000 residents (in 2002) one of the first places I checked out was the library. To be honest, in a town this small, there aren’t too many other places to check out! It was historic and picturesque but SO SMALL that I was shocked. Small as in one room for the adults and one room for the children, each room about the size of a dining room, in my opinion.

“Where are all the rest of the books?” I inquired.

“In storage,” I was told.

“Where’s the elevator?” I asked.

“Ma’am (uh-oh, I thought), this building is historic. There is no elevator.”

“Well, what about people in wheelchairs or with physical needs?” I asked, truly perplexed. I came to find out that those with physical needs, particularly those in wheelchairs, basically could not use our library (the entry was several concrete steps up to a small screened doorway)  . I was truly upset. I remember hearing a story from an elderly relative about a young man she knew who received a full scholarship to Harvard in the early 1920’s  but had to decline it as he was in a wheelchair due to polio and he could not get up the steps to use Widener Library (if you’ve never seen it, it has a million steps).  I remember saying, “Wow – I’m so glad that doesn’t happen today!” Yet here I was in a fairly affluent town 25 miles from Boston which was faring no better in the post-2000 years.

Well, fast forward ahead and the library campaign was begun — passing town meeting (the New England way of doing things: all the residents gather in the school gym and vote by shouting “Ay” or “Nay” to issues — really, I kid you not) by a very small margin (something like 6 votes), and now – next week – we have the unveiling of our very own, new and improved, enlarged, expanded, filled with books, and I’m proud to say ADA compliant library!! I am just too thrilled for words and can’t wait to gather the family and go down — to fill our book bags and visit our librarian friends (who worked hard to get this new library into reality!) — and to read read read!

2 thoughts on “Coming Soon to Our Town – a New Library!

  1. just an update — we’ve been visiting the new, lovely library. What a super job they’ve done, both in creating the new space (10 times bigger than the original) and in preserving the integrity of the original 1903 building. Yeah!

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