Library's Expansion  | Newspaper Articles

Leominster Public Library to have temporary new home
Anna L. Griffin, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, April 24, 2005

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 director.

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 library system.

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 ways."

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 building.

"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 ample notification."

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." 


Project Overview
Plans and Drawings
Temporary Library

Construction Update
Building Committee
Newspaper Articles