A steady stream of patrons found their way to the Sandwich Public Library’s new quarters on Monday, November 23, undeterred by the monsoon-like weather.
It was a good showing for the library’s reopening day at the Sand Hill School Community Center on Dewey Avenue. Although the collection at the old two-room schoolhouse is a small one, rain-soaked visitors were grateful for the cache.
Sara Shinnick came in just as the sun was setting.
“We all really need books right now,” she said, arms loaded with books for herself and her family. “I’m glad we have a library again.”
Research librarian and archivist Deborah Rich said the library had been “steadily busy” on Monday. Over the weekend the library staff carted books inside the building and rearranged furniture.
“We didn’t have a lot of time to close out the Main Street building,” she said. “We didn’t have a clear idea of what would fit and what wouldn’t.”
But by Monday, the shelves were organized, and the circulation desk staff—behind plexiglass shields—was helping people reserve and pick up their selections of books, DVDs and magazines.
Small browsing collections offering reading and listening materials for children and adults filled one room of the schoolhouse. The other room is reserved for staff offices.
Because the building is so small, staff members will rotate from home duty to the temporary library building, Ms. Rich said. Those working from home are helping to digitize the archives, which will allow people to research family histories online.
“This is a real plus for the archives. The work is expensive and time-consuming,” Ms. Rich said. “Now everybody is working together.”
The closure of the Main Street building—and the relocation to Sand Hill—will facilitate a $3 million renovation to the interior of the historic library.
The hours will be Monday through Saturday from 9:30 AM to 5 PM.
The Sand Hill library was closed on Thanksgiving Day and Friday, November 27, but will be open on Saturday, November 28.
Patrons are asked to wear masks and respect social distancing protocols—which was also required when a drastically reduced Main Street library collection reopened to the public after months of COVID closure
The architect, general contractor, designers, and subcontractors will work throughout the winter, library director Joanne Lamothe has said.
The renovated Main Street building is expected to reopen next summer.