Athol Daily News – After 18 months of waiting, Erving Public Library holds open houses
Posted: 09/27/2021 13:16:08 PM
Modified: 09/27/2021 13:16:07 PM
ERVING – After a long delay of a year and a half, Erving finally celebrated the opening of his new public library with an open house on Sunday.
The open house invited the public to join the key workers who helped make the library happen for music, refreshments, raffle and speeches.
Participants were welcomed inside the building and enjoyed the sunshine on the patio, where speakers took turns thanking the microphone and musicians performed in a nearby tent.
Library Board Chairman Daniel Hammock said the decision to open a new library was an “investment” the community can be proud of.
“A lot of effort from many people from different directions made this possible,” Hammock said. “The community at large has repeatedly supported the idea of looking to the future. ”
The speakers who opened the ceremony thanked the resident taxpayers for their role in the making of the library. The total cost of the project was $ 5.5 million, with the city matching the $ 2.7 provided by state grants.
“I think anyone can agree that this is money well spent,” library administrator Mackensey Bailey said in her speech.
The director of the library, Natane Halasz, who was appointed during the final stages of the opening of the new library, welcomed the possible “lovely” opening of the building. While the library wanted to host a “grand opening” celebration in March 2020 upon completion of the facility, the COVID-19 pandemic has made such gatherings impossible.
“The pandemic has kind of curtailed our real start,” said Halasz.
Those involved in the process saw the library as an opportunity not only to provide tangible resources for the use of the community, but also a comfortable atmosphere for locals to come together and build relationships.
“We live in a time of deep division, and finding a way to be together is very important,” Massachusetts Library Commissioner Janeen Resnick said in her speech. “A library is a place where we can meet and broaden our horizons.
“You feel like you have the world of libraries at your fingertips,” said Halasz.
While Halasz was the master of ceremonies for the event, those in attendance made sure to show their love to retired Library Director Barbara Friedman, who led the creation of the new library and served on its committee of Fund raising.
Towards the end of the welcome and remarks, Hammock and Bailey announced that the library would name its rear outdoor space “Barbara Friedman Patio and Gardens” and presented a potted tree in symbolic commemoration.
Earlier in the ceremony, Halasz announced that the library had received a $ 10,000 “Dig In” grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners that would fund certain aspects of outdoor landscaping, such as flower beds, gardening. and tools.
Going forward, Halasz said the new library would be an invaluable asset in the effort to “keep expanding”. She hopes that when the pandemic is better contained, the library can have more opportunities for programming and partnering with other organizations.
“I am so honored to be a resident of this city,” Bailey said, “and to have this as an asset in the city where I live.”
Contact Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or email@example.com.