PITTSFIELD, Maine — After years of fundraising, working around building crews, moving books and taking advantage of a temporary location, Pittsfield Public Library is poised to reopen next week.
Librarian Lyn Smith said it likely will be weeks or months before the new library is operating at 100 percent, but she is hopeful by Monday most of the building will be ready for the public.
“We’re busy shelving, cleaning, making messes and unmesses,” said Smith. “We’re opening to the public Monday with as much as we can have open.”
In recent weeks, Smith and her staff have operated out of a room in the Maine Central Institute library. Since Dec. 18, before MCI students went on winter break, the library hasn’t had a home, though it has kept its interlibrary loan program running at the town office.
A shipment of bookshelves, built as a charity project by inmates at Charleston Correctional Facility, arrived recently, and more are expected in the coming weeks, said Smith. Only then can the task resume of moving thousands of books from a storage trailer to their new home.
“On Monday, I expect about half the collection to be available,” said Smith, noting that the children’s room still needs paint before it’s operational. “We know people are eager to come in and see the new building.”
The $1.5 million project was accomplished with grant funding and donations. Pittsfield Public Library is a department of the town of Pittsfield, but no taxpayer money funded the expansion.
Smith said she is seeking a part-time children’s librarian to take over children’s programming, including a weekly story time that has taken place Monday mornings at the town office. Anyone interested in applying for the position may call Smith at 487-5880.
A formal open house will be scheduled at a later date.