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One of the many fabulous views from the reading room and outdoor patio.

Thursday, July 26, was a joyous day in PW, thanks to the eagerly awaited reopening of the PW Public Library. In a recent telephone interview, Library Director Nancy Curtin described mostly-delighted patrons viewing brand-new, expanded or improved spaces. Most remarked how beautiful it looked, she said, as they walked through the building. "Overall, the public is very pleased," she noted.

The library was scheduled to reopen on July 16, but Mrs. Curtin said that they experienced work-related delays, some necessitated by the fire marshal. Thanking the public for its patience and continued support, her 8/6 statement also explained, "The PW Public Library closed its temporary facility at Manorhaven Park on Saturday, June 30, planning to make the transition to the newly renovated Library within 10 days. We are pleased that the library is now open, but regret that the transition took longer than expected. The library's building project was regulated by the New York State Education Department, and the Facilities Division of that agency approved the building plans. However, local and county fire officials must also sign off on the plan when a certificate of occupancy is to be issued. Obtaining local approval took longer than anticipated." Most of the work under the bond has been completed; there are some refinements, scattered throughout the building, that are soon to be finished.

Still, most seem to feel it was well worth the wait. There's a bright new single charge-out desk in the lobby; it will be joined in the fall by a coffee bar. Also new are a few smaller meeting spaces. And the 25 computer stations seem to be a major hit. "They are filled, all the time," the Director said excitedly. "People are also thrilled that Internet access is free," she added.

The new Media Center now has open shelves, so patrons can help themselves. And there are no fees, either. The new mezzanine has, by most accounts, a great, clear view. Both the children's and the reference rooms have been expanded. There's more seating for families and computers for children. "Everyone is coming in to see the Library," Mrs. Curtin explained, "and the place is buzzing...really hopping!"

Other improvements are in store, thanks to the Foundation and the Friends of the Library. The foundation's grant will upgrade the old sound system and offer a hearing-assist system as well; this work is not yet underway. Thanks to a grant from the Friends, the library will boast new lobby furniture, a new podium, and the printing of new brochures.

Reopening celebrations will take place in the fall, so please watch for announcements, the Director said. For the remainder of the summer, the library's hours are 11-9, Monday through Friday, and 9-1 on Saturdays. (During the summer, the library is closed on Sunday.) In the fall, they will resume regular operating hours. Welcome back!


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