Following an excruciatingly long period of rebuilding and recovery after a devastating January 4 flood, the C.H. Booth Library came fully alive again the weekend of March 21 and 22 with celebratory toasts, socializing, music and even a little fire juggling to really spice things up.
While patrons have been welcomed back to the reopened facility for more than a week, last weekend was a chance to officially open the doors and welcome both the prominent supporters of the local institution as well as the residents and children who are the lifeblood of the local library.
On March 21, dozens of supporters and representatives of local companies who donated funds toward the library’s recovery and renovations joined staff and board members at a private gathering.
Attendees socialized and checked out some of the renovations, particularly behind the reception desk where staff members had found ankle deep water flowing after sprinkler pipes burst in the ceiling nearly three months earlier.
Saturday morning dawned brisk and sunny, prompting dozens of families and patrons to turn out for a series of events including a “make and take” craft workshop in the children’s story hour room. Older youths also dug right in building creations from Legos and playing board games.
About 20 young families engaged in a session of music and movement with Julie Capuano of Music Together of Monroe and Newtown.
Before and after her sessions, “Modern Day Vaudevillian” Eric Girardi of Walk Around Entertainment taught young attendees some of the finer points of yo-yo manipulation and juggling. But Mr Girardi kept his young audience at a safe distance during his finale in the library courtyard, as he juggled and swallowed fire.
Local resident Christina Dolzall of Fairytale Memories circulated, thrilling young children by playing the role of a real life Tinker Bell.
Adult visitors were able to hear and rub elbows with celebrity entertainer and author Lenny Levine, who has recorded or performed with Diana Ross, The Pointer Sisters, Barry Manilow, Billy Joel, Carly Simon, Peggy Lee, and others. He played an intimate one-hour set later Saturday afternoon in the library’s meeting room.
The newly renovated library is now open Monday through Thursday from 9:30 am to 8 pm, Fridays from 11 am to 5 pm, Saturdays from 9:30 am to 5 pm, and Sundays from noon to 5 pm. Visit chboothlibrary.org for more information and a calendar of special activities.
Reporter Nancy Crevier also contributed to this story.