Library's Expansion | Newspaper Articles
Leominster Public Library to have temporary new home
Anna L. Griffin, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, April 24,
LEOMINSTER-When? How? Where?
These and many more questions have been asked of the staff
of the Leominster Public Library after the announcement that
the library will be moving to a temporary location."We've
had a lot of questions," said Susan T. Shelton, library
The Leominster Public Library Board of Trustees and the
Library Building Committee recently announced that an
agreement for a temporary location for the library has been
reached. The library will move to Crossroads Office Park,
690 Mechanic St.
"We looked at a lot of different options, but this was the
one that had everything we needed," Mrs. Shelton said.
The library will lease approximately 11,000 square feet at
the office park. It has to vacate its current space because
of the construction of an addition to the library. The
relocation could last 18 months while the construction,
renovation and expansion of the existing library at 30 West
St. takes place.
The library will close Monday, May 2. It will reopen at the
temporary location at 9 a.m. Monday, May 16, at 690 Mechanic
St., for regular hours of library service. During the two
weeks the library is closed, the book drop at 30 West St.
will continue to be open for returns.
"We have been closing different collections in the library
to the public over the past few weeks in anticipation of the
move," said Meredith Foley, assistant director.
"People have noticed that we've been placing plastic
sheeting up, to block off different areas," she said. "As we
get closer to the move, more sheeting is going to go up."
New books, daily newspapers, current magazines,
books-on-tape and CDs, videos, DVDs, public Internet
computers, library programs and information services will
remain available until the day the library closes May 2.
Mrs. Shelton said there are approximately 100,000 pieces in
the library collection. All of these must be moved in
addition to shelves, desks, computers, etc.
About one-third of the collection, which she described as
being the newest and most active parts of the collection,
will be moved to the temporary location. The rest will be
placed in storage.
Mrs. Shelton said since the library will be operating in
approximately 50 percent of the space of the current
facility, a large portion of the library's older collection
would be headed toward storage. However, while at the
temporary location, the library will be able to borrow
virtually anything a patron requests through the state
The library is looking for volunteers to help with the move.
Volunteers are needed for a variety of jobs, such as
constructing boxes to store items in, taking books off of
the shelves and packing books.
Several prisoners from MCI Gardner, who are in a prerelease
program, will be working to transport the boxes of books and
other materials headed for storage. The storage area is in
the Gallagher Building, Church Street.
Those who are interested in assisting with the move can
contact either Mrs. Foley or Edward Bergman, head of adult
services, by calling (978) 534-7522.
"We need volunteers for all different tasks," Mr. Bergman
said. "Call us and we'll find a spot for you."
Mr. Bergman said that generally libraries this size require
a month to move. "But we've been working on it a little at a
time and are trying to move things as quickly as possible,
to minimize the inconvenience to our customers."
Shelving from the old Heywood Library facility in Gardner is
being put in place at the temporary location for the
Leominster Public Library. "The fact the shelves are in
place already is going to help us out with the move," Mr.
Bergman said. "The library community in this region has been
very supportive to us, offering help in many different
Mrs. Foley said a company that specializes in moving
libraries has also been hired. "And they've done many
libraries - some of them a lot bigger than Leominster - and
that's going to help us out as well."
Mrs. Shelton said the temporary location will enable the
library to maintain separate adult, children and young adult
areas, as well as hold the most popular print and nonprint
materials, part of the older connection and make available
public Internet computers and continue library programs.
Some of the larger library programs will be held at
different locations, such as area churches, City Hall, the
National Plastics Center & Museum and the Doyle Conservation
"All of these groups as well as many others have come
forward and offered their help and their facilities to us,"
Mrs. Shelton said. "We want people to know that if something
is going to be held at a different location, there will be
Mrs. Shelton said the library construction project has been
advertised. Bids should come in and the general contract
should be awarded by early June. A public groundbreaking
ceremony might take place in mid- to late June.
"We would like to have construction completed by the fall of
2006 and that is a very ambitious schedule," she said. "But
2006 marks the 150th anniversary of library service in the
city, so it would be great to have the two coincide."