COLUMBIA CITY — When the Peabody Public Library’s new building was constructed in 1999, it was with an eye to the future as well as the needs of the moment.
With large unfinished areas on the lower level, we knew that we had the option to respond to the changing world of library service.
As the library moved more toward a community center, we realized that spaces such as a large computer lab, an auditorium and more meeting rooms were desirable. With libraries across the country beginning to focus on young adults – our near-future patrons – we saw that we came up short in that area. Those of you who have tried to find a parking space on “White Truck Day” will appreciate the need we saw for a larger parking lot.
Thus, we embarked upon an ambitious building renovation which included – wait for it – a larger computer lab, a 250-seat auditorium with stage, lighting and sound, a young adult room, 36 new parking spaces and such assorted bonuses as a new periodical reading room, a new large study room and an Indiana Room closer to the information and circulation desks.
After almost an entire year of disruption, sawdust and noise, the saws have been put away, the dumpsters emptied, the visqueen taken down and the carpets vacuumed; what is left to do after a construction project except have a dedication?
Our dedication and open house is a somewhat special event for us at the library, since the late board member Robert Brittain played an integral role in bringing the project to fruition. It is to his memory that our new multi-use auditorium will be dedicated at a special ceremony.
The ceremony will include remarks by Mayor James Fleck and some of Mr. Brittain’s former students and colleagues.
There will also be an open house with viewing of the new areas, refreshments and music by harpist Devon Haupt and string trio Musica D’arco. The children’s department will have crafts and activity stations for the kids and video gaming for the teens. Join us at 2 p.m. Sunday for the dedication. The open house runs from 2-4 p.m.