After 18-month wait, Erving Public Library holds open house

  • Erving Public Library’s open house took place on Sunday, about 18 months since staff hoped to host a grand opening. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • Erving Public Library Director Natane Halasz welcomes open house attendees on Sunday. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • Singer and ukulele player Julie Stepanek performs following the Erving Public Library open house’s speeches on Sunday. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • Erving Public Library’s open house took place on Sunday, about 18 months since staff hoped to host a grand opening. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • Erving Public Library’s open house took place on Sunday, about 18 months since staff hoped to host a grand opening. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • Erving Public Library. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • Erving Public Library Trustees Chair Daniel Hammock, left, and Trustee Mackensey Bailey share remarks during an open house on Sunday. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • Erving Public Library’s open house took place on Sunday, about 18 months since staff hoped to host a grand opening. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

Staff Writer
Published: 9/26/2021 5:03:37 PM

ERVING — After a year-and-a-half long delay, Erving finally celebrated the opening of its new public library with an open house Sunday.

The open house invited the public to join key workers who helped bring the library to fruition for music, refreshments, a raffle and speeches.

Attendees were welcomed inside the building and to enjoy the sunshine out on the patio, where speakers took turns making acknowledgments on the microphone and musicians performed under a nearby tent.

Library Trustees Chair Daniel Hammock said the decision to open a new library was an “investment” the community can be proud of.

“A lot of effort by a lot of people from a lot of different directions made this happen,” Hammock said. “The community in general, over and over, has supported looking into the future.”

Speakers who opened the ceremony thanked resident taxpayers for their role in bringing the library to fruition. The total cost of the project was $5.5 million, with the town matching the $2.7 provided by state grant funding.

“I think everybody can agree that this is money well spent,” Library Trustee Mackensey Bailey said in her speech.

Library Director Natane Halasz, who was appointed during the final stages of the new library’s opening, was thrilled about the “delightful” eventual opening of the building. While the library wanted to throw a “grand opening” celebration in March 2020 upon the facility’s completion, the COVID-19 pandemic made such gatherings impossible.

“The pandemic has kind of curtailed our real start to things,” Halasz said.

Those involved in the process saw the library as an opportunity to not only provide tangible resources for community use, but a comfortable atmosphere for locals to come together and build relationships.

“We live in a time with deep divisions, and finding a way to be together is very important,” Massachusetts Library Commissioner Janeen Resnick said in her speech. “A library is a place where we can meet one another and widen our horizons.”

“You feel like you’ve got the library world at your fingertips,” Halasz said.

While Halasz served as the event’s emcee, those in attendance made sure to show love to retired Library Director Barbara Friedman, who spearheaded the creation of the new library and served on its fundraising committee.

Toward the end of the welcome and remarks, Hammock and Bailey announced that the library would name its rear outdoor space the “Barbara Friedman Patio and Gardens,” and presented a potted tree in symbolic commemoration.

Earlier in the ceremony, Halasz announced that the library had received a $10,000 “Dig In” grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners that would fund aspects of outdoor landscaping, such as flower beds, gardening and tools.

Heading into the future, Halasz said the new library will be an invaluable asset in the effort to “keep expanding.” She hopes that when the pandemic is better contained, the library can have more programming and partnership opportunities with other organizations.

“I am just so honored to be a resident of this town,” Bailey said, “and to have this as an asset in the town I live in.”

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or jmendoza@recorder.com.




Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
Fax: (413) 772-2906

 

Copyright © 2021 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy