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Library Talk – March 23, 2017

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Happy spring!

By the time you read this column, we should have had our first successful use of the library annex this past Tuesday with our spring music jam. While there are still some things to tweek, and obviously the front and rear exterior of the building needs some decorative work, the really ‘big’ things are done, and thanks to all of the contractors that worked on the building. Had it been quicker if we started from scratch? Maybe, but regardless, the project had to move slow—sometimes just timing with the contractors, sometimes funding issues (we didn’t ever want to reduce services for library use in order to spend on the annex—no levy money was used for it!), and I’ll admit it, time just flies by between steps on a project of this size.

What is our vision? Bigger, better and more programs for the community.  Everything from movie nights to Lincoln Center screenings, more music programs, more informational programs—there have been some educational programs that we had to pass on because our space in the meeting room wasn’t big enough.  Friends of the Library will be able to have much more organized book sales (imagine, books in better order, sorted well, room to walk around all the tables..what fun!).  Those of you that have been to the programs at the library know that when the room has more than 50 people, it is getting crowded—now we can better spread out and enjoy the new space.  We’ve lost having some group meetings here because of our limited space—now we can offer a much larger venue.  We are learning as we build, and as we open, so rules and program ideas will change, but I’m excited, and I hope you are too.  I think the Saturday,  April 1st  “Flood Memories’ program will really test our ideas, with a variety of speakers, displays and chances to talk and walk around will be a good use of the space.  I don’t think the project is a folly, and I hope it falls in line with the expectation that Ripley may be bouncing back from a rough patch of economic downturn.  I’m open to ideas for programs and good purposes for this space that we can now use.

Matthew