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Leverett Library plans 10th birthday party

LEVERETT — The Leverett Library will celebrate its 10th anniversary this weekend with a two-day celebration that includes a puppet show, a picnic and the opportunity to be the namesake for a character in an Archer Mayor book through the library’s silent auction.

“The Friends of the Library and the library trustees wanted to acknowledge and celebrate the fact that the building has been open for 10 years,” Librarian Ashley Blais said.

The celebration kicks off at the library at 75 Montague Road at 11 a.m. Saturday, with a show by Shutesbury puppeteer Anna Sobel.

It will continue with lunch outdoors at noon and children’s carnival games at 12:30. The games will feature Leverett’s own Bob Hepner and his “magic truck,” which includes a gentle slide, an igloo full of stuffed animals, percussive noisemakers and dancing sculptures.

At night the library will host an “ABC” auction beginning at 7 p.m. in the library’s community room. There are 26 items up for bid, one for each letter in the alphabet, including an airplane ride, an island vacation (Peak’s Island, Maine), and paintings by two Leverett artists. One of the artists, oil and watercolor painter William Rathbun, has an exhibit in the library’s community room.

Also included in the auction is an “Xciting chance to have your name as a character in an Archer Mayor book.”

Mayor is a Vermont-based writer and author of the popular Joe Gunther detective series. One of his more recent books, “Paradise City,” was set in Northampton.

Leverett residents can bid on the donated items at the library through Thursday at 5 p.m. Money from the event will go to the Friends of the Library to support future programs.

The event will finish Sunday with a community celebration of the library. There will be a performance by the Leverett Community Chorus as well as reminiscences and recognitions about the library building project.

“This was such a community project, so well supported by the people of Leverett,” said D’Ann Kelty, one of the Friends of the Library. “We decided to celebrate with the people who made it possible.

Kelty was chair of the building committee. She said construction of the library 10 years ago relied heavily on donations and fundraisers by the townspeople.

“We’re especially proud of our original donors, the ‘nifty fifty’ club,” said Kelty, referring to a group of over 50 library patrons who donated over $1,000 each to the library’s construction. The names of donors in the “nifty fifty” are emblazoned on a mural in the library.

Kelty says the library was built to replace the Bradford M. Field Library, a smaller facility across from Town Hall.

“It was 845 square feet, with no running water, just three electrical outlets, and almost no parking,” Kelty said.

The library now has two rest rooms, a community room, six public computers and a lighted parking lot.

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