Written by Ronald Scaglia Friday, 09 November 2012 00:00
Massapequans without power may turn to the library as a place of refuge during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Although the Bar Harbour branch has been without power and therefore has been closed, the Central Avenue building has been open since its power was restored on Thursday, Nov. 1. According to the library’s director, Janis Schoen, residents have been coming to the library to charge their cell phones, watch movies, enjoy a hot cup of coffee, and escape the cold and misery of living without electricity.
“At one point we had more than 100 people in the Central Avenue building,” said Schoen.
The director added that library personnel have been working hard to make the library as functional as possible for all residents. Therefore, staff members went with flashlights to the Bar Harbour building and took all of the books that were on reserve at that building and brought them to Central Avenue, so that the reserved items could be picked up there. In addition, there have been donations of playing cards and cookies, so guests may enjoy a treat and a game of cards. Schoen further reports that the building’s computers are working, as well as the Wi-Fi, so those without power can get online. Although the library is scheduled to be closed on Sundays, and was also scheduled to be closed on Monday, Nov. 12 in observance of Veteran’s Day, the library board is very concerned about the community and has decided to open the library on both days. In addition, the board kept the library open extended hours during the weekend of Nov. 3 and 4 and plans on doing so this weekend as well.
“The board works so hard and this board is just bending over backwards to make sure that the library is giving the best service during the worst circumstances,” said Schoen.
Although the Bar Harbour building does not have power, Schoen says that the building did not sustain tremendous damage. She said that the building did lose a tree and part of a fence.
“It’s nothing compared to what people have lost,” said Schoen.
Because that building did not sustain tremendous damage, the director says it should open fairly quickly, once power is restored. If that occurs before the weekend, Schoen says that the Bar Harbour building would also be open this weekend, even though it is a holiday weekend.