Kent Memorial Library temporarily moves into Suffield Town Hall
By Gregory A. Scibelli - Staff Writer
Suffield - posted Fri., Sep. 23, 2011
Kent Memorial Library is fitting snuggly into its temporary location on the lower floor of Suffield Town Hall, while the roof is being replaced on the Bridge Street building. The roof is the first in a hopefully long line of repairs and renovations to the existing building, said Library Director Jim McShane.
The library is currently functioning on a limited basis since opening on Sept. 12 in the town hall. The hours for the library are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The only exception is Wednesday, when the library will be open from noon to 7 p.m. to accommodate patrons' working hours, McShane said.
The transition, which took one week from the closure of the main building, has gone smoothly with the concentrated effort of many town departments and volunteers. “We had a lot of great help during the week to get everything moved as quickly as possible so that we could be re-opened and offering services to the people,” said McShane. “This is definitely better than the alternative, which would be to have no library at all.”
The roof replacement is expected to take until December. McShane said the contract for the roof reconstruction requires the work to be completed by Dec. 15.
Patron traffic has slowly been picking up, First Selectman Tom Frenaye has observed, and he is pleased to see the library functioning while the roof work continues. “The library is very important to a lot of our residents,” said Frenaye. “It is important that we were able to keep it open during the roof work.”
The temporary library spans throughout the large conference room in the lower floor. The conference room has normally been used for board meetings, including the board of selectmen. Those meetings have been temporarily relocated for the time being.
Several regular programs, including children’s storytimes, have been suspended due to the space confines, but patrons will still be able to do basic library business. Though the book collection is limited due to the space, McShane said the interlibrary loan system will allow the library to acquire need books for patrons.
McShane also said while roof repairs are ongoing, he has asked for the Board of Selectmen for an additional $48,000 to do floor refinishing and purchase new carpets for the interior of the building. McShane made the request at the Sept. 21 meeting, and the board is considering the request, Frenaye said. Identifying a funding source is the current challenge in approving the request.