Library to return home

By Rachael Scarborough King, Register Staff
July 31, 2008

GUILFORD — The town library will close for the month of August so officials can move materials back to the renovated Park Street building, which is due to reopen in early September.

The Guilford Free Library has been operating from a temporary facility on Carter Drive since last summer. The $8 million expansion will nearly double the space available at Park Street to 34,000 square feet.

The 1933 library was last expanded in 1977. The new construction includes a variety of technological upgrades, Library Director Sandra Ruoff said.

Over the next few weeks, staff will move books, supplies and some furniture back to the building at 67 Park St.

“In the new library, the staff has to be completely retrained because we’re going to have some different computer systems, a different phone system, different security system,” Ruoff said.

Major construction on the new building has been completed, and contractors are finishing work on some interior sections. Ruoff said she decided to begin the transition back to Park Street now because the library has been paying about $14,000 a month in rent at the temporary site.

“We’ve been very grateful to have had this temporary site. It worked out very well for the people of Guilford,” she said. “In a lot of situations where libraries have to move out, they go to much smaller quarters and they have to pack away a lot of their collection and they can’t provide all the services.”

Ruoff said the library will not be charging any late fees during August, but people wanting to return books can still do so using the drop box at the 20 Carter Drive facility. Guilford library card holders can use any other public library in the state, she added. Staff will continue to answer the library’s main phone number, 453-8282, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

The library’s board of directors is continuing to raise money toward the renovation, which was covered partly by a $6.4 million town bond and a $500,000 state grant. Ruoff said the group will hold a fundraiser in the new building Sept. 4 and is still selling bricks for the library courtyard that people can personalize.

The temporary library on Carter Drive will be open today from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and close Friday. Ruoff said that a definite opening date for early September has not yet been set.

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