Library's Expansion | Newspaper Articles
Summer reading on hold
Marisa Donelan Sentinel & Enterprise April 5, 2007
LEOMINSTER -- Public Library Director Susan T. Shelton is
preparing for a move from the temporary library at
Crossroads Office Park to a newly expanded building on West
But in order to make the move, the city will be without
library services for more than a month and a half, starting
April 16, Shelton said.
"We'll be opening in the early part of June (at the new
building)," she said Wednesday. "There's a tremendous amount
of work that needs to be done in the meantime."
Patrons have visited the temporary library at Crossroads for
two years during the $12 million renovation and expansion at
the West Street location.
Shelton said the closure is necessary to move the library's
collection from its temporary location and a storage
facility, organize it in the new building and train the
staff in the West Street location.
Library employees need time to accept furniture deliveries,
take inventory of the stored materials, and set up new phone
and computer systems, she said.
"Everything is going to be new to us," she said.
Items checked out of the library before the temporary
location closes will not be due until the new library opens,
and patrons can check out up to 50 items on their library
card, Shelton said.
The book drop at Crossroads will be open until April 30, and
book drops at the new library -- near the West Street
delivery driveway and at the Pearl Street entrance -- are
scheduled to open April 16.
Shelton said Leominster teachers and students have been
notified about the closure and given other locations where
their library cards are accepted -- most libraries in
Central and Western Massachusetts use the same system, she
Patrons are also receiving notices when they check items
out, she said.
Library employees will have to clear out of the Crossroads
building by the end of the month because their lease is up
then, Shelton said.
The lease, including all utilities and maintenance costs,
cost $8,062 per month in the first 18 months, Shelton said.
It then increased to $10,047 per month in the 19th and 20th
months, and again to $12,797 per month in the 21st through
Leominster resident Marie Mueller said she goes to the
temporary library with her daughter, Katrina, 3, at least
once a week.
"Basically, we've pretty much maxed out our library card,"
she said while combing through the children's section at
Mueller said she's happy to go to other libraries while
Leominster's is closed, because she is looking forward to
the new location having its full collection available.
"We're very excited, because there are so many books in
storage that will be out there, and it's closer to our
house, so we can walk there," she said.
Carol Iacaboni of Leominster said she is a frequent library
patron, but is willing to wait out the closure for the new
"I'm anxious to see it," she said. "They have to make the
move, and it's a big move. They can't do it overnight. I
think it's going to be worth the wait."
Mayor Dean J. Mazzarella said when new libraries in
Lancaster and Lunenburg were being built, patrons from those
towns came to Leominster. He expects Leominster residents
will use other local libraries while the move is happening.
"It is going to be more inconvenient than anything," he
Last fall, the library's costs came under fire as City
Councilors debated approving a $1.3 million loan to cover
The council ultimately approved the loan.
Councilor-at-large Dennis Rosa said the temporary library
closure will probably interrupt some peoples' routines, but
thinks most people are excited about the new building.
"I think it's going to be a big inconvenience, especially
for the regular people who use the library," he said. "But I
think they're going to be understanding, especially with
what they're going to have in the future."
A library fundraising committee has worked to raise $1.2
million in a separate push to buy furnishings for the new
Shelton said they have raised approximately $1.1 million,
adding that an auction last month "far exceeded" the
committee's goal of raising $25,000 to $30,000 in one night.
The final amount from the auction has not been tallied yet,