There are details still to iron out, but the overall attitude of the staff and administrators of the C.H. Booth Library is that “It is good to be back.”
With minor glitches straightened out, improved technology, and floor plans altered to a more welcoming flow of foot traffic, the C.H. Booth Library is ready to welcome back the public in grand style. Although the library reopened its doors to the public, Saturday, March 8, a Reopening Celebration is scheduled for Saturday, March 22, emphasizing the silver lining that lay behind the devastating flood that shuttered the library for two months.
While obvious remediation included replacing fallen ceiling tiles, damaged walls, and waterlogged carpets, the flood actually provided the Board of Trustees with the opportunity to implement already scheduled updates to the building, without further disrupting service to the public.
Patrons have been welcomed back since March 8, but by March 22, staff feels that the community can once again enter the doors completely confident that services are 100 percent functional. Behind the scenes, a badly water-damaged infrastructure had created a challenge for staff and the board, with nearly all technology disabled. As of early last week, phone service still remained problematic.
“We wanted to do two weeks of ‘shakedown’ to make sure all of the infrastructure is operating properly,” board member Bob Geckle said Tuesday, March 11, explaining why the Reopening Celebration was not scheduled on the March 8 opening day.
Newly painted walls and woodwork, new carpet throughout the first and second floor areas, and upgraded utilities, alarms, and computers mean that patrons of C.H. Booth Library will find the library an even more welcoming space to visit. Coffee, available for a nominal donation, is now available in the Friends Café near the main circulation desk for sipping while researching, browsing the collections, or relaxing with a book or magazine in a comfortable chair.
The public is invited to celebrate with staff and friends, during regular library hours this coming Saturday. Balloons will decorate the library, and refreshments and treats will be offered all day long. Extra staff will be on hand to explain any changes or updates, said Acting Director Beryl Harrison.
On the first floor, visitors are welcome to talk with members of the Friends of the C.H. Booth Library, and find out opportunities for volunteering.
A number of events to celebrate the reopening of the library are scheduled for March 22.
From 1 to 3 pm, children can enjoy the talents of “Modern Day Vaudevillian” Eric Girardi of Walk Around Entertainment. Mr Girardi is an award-winning yo-yo artist. While juggling fire is one of his more than 20 circus skills, balls of flame will not be dancing in his hands at this performance. His many other magical talents will thrill young people of all ages, however.
Also from 1 to 3 pm, Christina Dolzall of Fairytale Memories will be on hand, transformed into Tinker Bell, and available to greet children, sign autograph postcards, and pose for pictures. Cameras are welcome, so pack a smile to bring along.
Adult visitors will not be forgotten. From 2 to 3:30 pm, in the meeting room, adults can enjoy “Story and Song with Lenny Levine.” Mr Levine has had a long career as a recording studio singer and songwriter. His songs have been recorded and performed by Diana Ross, The Pointer Sisters, and Barry Manilow, and Mr Levine has sung backup for Billy Joel, Carly Simon, Peggy Lee, and others. Also a widely published author, his stories have appeared in literary magazines and journals. He received a 2011 Pushcart Prize nomination for short fiction.
“Thanks to Bob Geckle for not only overseeing the restoration, but also planning the celebrations, with the assistance of Elizabeth Rallo [GE planner assisting the town],” said Ms Harrison in her report to the Board of Trustees. “His work has been invaluable.”
The library, at 25 Main Street, is open Monday through Thursday, 9:30 am to 8 pm; Friday, 11 am to 5 pm; Saturday, 9:30 am to 5 pm; and Sunday noon to 5 pm.