New library boasts more space, room to grow
Linwood’s library collection once could be found in a former jail cell, Bruce Nelson noted Sunday.
But it’s gone from that “to a liberated and spacious location, so that’s good,” Nelson said.
The Linwood Community Library board chairman was one of a few officials to speak before a crowd of about 80 on a sunny Sunday afternoon outside the new library at 19649 Linwood Road. A ribbon cutting followed, thanks to longtime library board member Marceline Turner.
After the ribbon cutting, patrons made their way into their new library, checking out all the nuances of the new location that provides a great deal more space than the former library.
The new site’s 3,500 square feet is double the public space available at the downtown site, library director Sue Peavy said. It was home to the library for roughly 30 years, bridging the gap from those early years of smaller spaces, such as an old jail cell, to the newest locale.
Christy Crews, Linwood, and her daughter Sadie Crews, 3, were among the local residents to see the new library at the open house.
“It’s gorgeous,” Crews said. “They’ve done a great job with it. It will be a great addition to the community.”
Crews said the library has always offered great children’s programs and that the new venue would enhance those offerings.
Before the ribbon cutting, Nelson also noted it was great for the library to have ownership of its own building, and then he stopped himself, noting First State Bank and Trust had ownership. The new library is being funded through the bank. The building was purchased earlier this year for $290,000 — $35,000 through a down payment and $255,000 financed over 10 years.
At the open house, Nelson pointed out room for potential growth, as the new library is situated on about an acre of land.
And, the new location is a plus for the entire library district, which consists of Reno and Sherman Townships, because the highway site would be even more accommodating, he said.
Help from students
It wasn’t the most efficient way to transfer books to Linwood Community Library’s new building, but it was popular and meaningful.
In advance of the library’s open house, a column of Linwood Elementary School students walked about seven blocks from the old library downtown Thursday to the community’s newly remodeled library on Kansas Highway 32. The students all carried books from the library’s children’s collection to the new site.
Fourth-graders Kim Campbell and Jennifer Chatwick said they were happy to help with the move and looked forward to visiting the new library.
“Because it will have a lot of books and bigger space and more things,” Chatwick said.
Peavy said several people suggested the student book caravan.
“It’s a good way to show them how to get to the new library and get them to take ownership in it,” she said. “Some of the kids said, ‘She worked at the old library.’ They were surprised we were going to have the same staff.”
Students also were aware the young readers’ area was the kitchen in the building’s recent days as a café, Peavy said. The four-month renovation was a community project, she said.
As part of that effort, the Linwood Lions Club spent two hours Oct. 9 moving all but the books the students moved Thursday, Peavy said.
The students arrived as workers finished a punch list of final remodeling details. An open house for the new library will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, and the new building will open Monday.
Helping with the last-minute work Thursday was Sharon Coatney, who with her husband, Jeff, owned the restaurant that was in the building before the remodel.
“We’re excited it’s going to be a community library and place where people can pursue literacy from children to adults,” she said. “But, it’s a lot of work.”
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