Library to celebrate 10th anniversary in new building
By Gregory A. Scibelli - Staff Writer
East Granby - posted Thu., Aug. 25, 2011
Four-year-old Peyton Van Beek comes to the East Granby Public Library regularly and gets to read under the tree house in the children’s room.
He likes to read dinosaur books, and his mother, Ashley Keeley, says he looks forward to their trips to the library for story times and other activities.
The expansion of the East Granby Public Library has opened up many opportunities for patrons of the library to come experience technology, read and take out books, and participate in interesting discussions and book readings.
The library will celebrate its 10th anniversary at its current location at 24 Center St. on Sept. 10 from 2 to 4 p.m. Library Director Lisa Salazar said the event represents the evolution of the library, something in which she has played a large part. Salazar has been with the library for more than 25 years, the last nine as the director.
“This building is very special to the community,” she said. “The library has experienced so much growth during the past 10 years and we have so much to offer the community.”
Another member of the staff, Susan Nero, said the library is an important piece of the town.
“This library has become the hub of the community,” said Nero. “We now have the ability to offer programs to people of all ages and we are like a family here. This library is a diamond in East Granby.”
A combination of private, town and state funds collected over the course of several years led to the construction of the new library in 2001. The move was a necessity, after the library outgrew its former facility, a smaller, schoolhouse-like structure.
Salazar remembers the old library fondly but says the new library has helped reach more people than ever during the last 10 years.
“We have been able to keep up with the latest technology, and people can come here and have meetings and conferences in rooms with projectors and computer equipment,” said Salazar. “We have a full children’s room and can have story times and crafts.”
The children’s room contains its own reading sanctuary with the “reading tree house.” The cave-like structure was designed to allow children a quiet area to nestle into with a good book.
Salazar, who served as children’s librarian prior to becoming the director, says her own children were the inspiration behind the “reading tree house.”
“My sons used to love this book where a boy leaves his home and goes to live in a tree,” said Salazar. “It became something I wanted to have in the library for the kids.”
Children also have access to computers containing learning games in subject matters such as reading, math, science and typing.
Children are not the only emphasis in the library. Teenagers can do research for school projects with the upgraded computers in the facility. Adults can find a wide variety of books in the 11,000-square-foot structure, take computer classes or come to a special book reading. The library continues to receive grants to upgrade equipment and offer more programs and presentations.
“This is a library that is unbounded,” said Salazar. “It has so much potential now to do so many great things.”
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the new building, a combination of many of the regular activities offered by the library will be presented on Sept. 10. There will be a special story time by local author Jennifer Huget, decoration of cupcakes for children and a presentation about the history of the library, including information about the old library, Salazar said.
The event is being held in conjunction with the Sidewalk Fair being offered by the East Granby Chamber of Commerce just up the street at the Center Shops.
In addition to the anniversary, Salazar said there is currently local photography on display at the library, and a book sale coming on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. The book sale is one of the fundraising events used to help fund about one-third of the library’s budget each year. The town of East Granby funds the other two-thirds, though the facility is run by its own library association.