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Petersburg Library throws closing party

 

Kyle Clayton / Petersburg Pilot

Sally Riemer (right) and Liz Perry were among the volunteers serving up root beer floats.

Root beer floats fizzed and bluegrass chords twanged as Petersburg Library volunteers, staff and patrons celebrated its final hours before the facility transitions to its new location.

“Say goodbye to the library. It’s time to move up the hill,” sang Kids Rock, a five-member youth band encompassing guitars, fiddle, stand-up bass and mandolins.

More than 200 people joined the July 26 party. Many of them stockpiled books and DVDs for a long checkout period.

Borough Librarian Tara Alcock says residents checked out 8,072 items this July, roughly 700 more compared to July of last year.

Petersburg resident William Bergmann checked out ten books ranging from history to murder mystery to life in Africa. He doesn’t normally check out that many items at a time. But with a September 10 due date, he said won’t have any problems reading them.

Alcock said those who checked out library materials are helping with the move.

“I really didn’t imagine they would check out so much stuff,” says Borough Librarian Tara Alcock. “Our shelves are bare.”

Alcock says the first wave of the move involves staff learning how to use new security systems, heating and cooling and setting up a new computer network. The second stage involves packing up what’s left of the library’s collection, moving it to the new facility and putting it all back in order.

Kyle Clayton / Petersburg Pilot

William Bergmann checked out a stack of ten books during the library’s closing party.

Volunteers and staff will pack and unpack the collection while local moving company Billiken Transfer will transfer it to the library’s new location at 14 South Second St.

Mary Ellen Anderson, Library Board President, spoke to the root beer sipping crowd after the band played.

“Today we close the doors for the last time,” Anderson said. “We look forward, up the hill, to a great new era that lies ahead of us in our great new building.”

The public library first opened January 1, 1931 in the Telephone Exchange Building. It moved onto the second floor of the municipal building in 1960. The children’s book, “Face To Face With Wolves” by Jim Brandenburg, was the last item checked out at the old facility at 4:06 p.m., July 26. The new library will open September 3.

 

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