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Kingston's new library opens with a four-day celebration

Union Leader Correspondent

May 20. 2012 8:28PM
Jordyn Chesbro, 4, reads a pop-up book called “Creepy Critters” in the middle of the floor inside the new Kingston Community Library. (JASON SCHREIBER)

KINGSTON - After a four-day celebration to mark a new chapter, the $2.2 million Kingston Community Library at 2 Library Lane is officially open for business.

'It finally seems real now that we have people in the building,' said Sarah Sycz Jaworski, library director.

The nearly 9,000-square-foot library replaces the town's original, 3,000-square-foot Nichols Memorial Library that was built on Main Street in 1898.

Voters approved the new library in March 2011 after defeating three other proposals, and agreed to pay for it mostly with money in the town's $6 million infrastructure fund, which was set up in 2007 with a surplus left when the town's landfill closed.

The new library features more room for books, CDs, DVDs and audio books, a larger children's library with space for story hours and other activities, public programming and meeting space, reading and quiet study areas, wireless technology and more computers.

The library also took on a new name, but the original Nichols Memorial Library, which will become a town museum, wasn't forgotten. An image of the stone-faced building appears on stained glass at the front of the new library, which also has many stone features to represent the original building.

'It brings it back to the old building,' Jaworski said.

The celebration began last Thursday, when donors and volunteers were recognized.

A special children's hour was held Friday, with tours for kids and a performance of 'Alice in Wonderland' by the Sanborn Regional Middle School drama class.

Community associations and town employees were invited for tours.

A community scavenger hunt and dedication and ribbon cutting were held Saturday, followed by a public coffee hour on Sunday.

Kingston resident Shannon Varney, 41, remembered how much she enjoyed visiting the old library as a child. She now brings her own children to the library, and while she said the new library is beautiful, she'll miss the old one.

So will her 6-year-old daughter, Mary Kate, who said she couldn't decide which one she liked better.

'I like both of them,' said Mary Kate, who attended Friday's children's tour with her twin sister, Lauren.

'She was so attached to the old library. It's a little bittersweet,' Varney said.

Resident Brenda Chesbro also brought her daughter, Jordyn, 4, for a tour and reflected on the move to a much larger and more modern facility.

'It had charm and I think we'll miss it,' she said of the old library, 'but this new library will be great for the kids. I think the town really needed it.'

Amy Giorgi, a kindergarten teacher at Kingston Children's Center, visits the library weekly with her class and said she was excited about the new building.

'I just think there's more opportunity for learning here,' she said.

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