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Haston Free Library prepares for return to landmark building.

Byline: Bradford L. Miner

NORTH BROOKFIELD - Looking for a book for that vacation at the beach?

Or perhaps there's a book on the summer reading list yet to be read in the few weeks before the school year begins.

Now is a good time for library patrons to consider their reading needs for the weeks to come, Ann L. Kidd, director of the Haston Free Public Library, said yesterday, because the temporary library quarters at 372 North Main St. will close at noon Aug. 18.

The expanded and renovated library at 181 North Main St. will reopen more than six weeks later, barring any unforeseen circumstances, Mrs. Kidd said.

She said the construction project is nearly complete and, as furnishings and equipment begin to arrive, the contractor is addressing punch-list items.

"I think our patrons will be as pleased with the renovated and expanded building as I am," Mrs. Kidd said. "All of us on the staff are very excited, and the area that will be the children's room is especially appealing, with lots of natural light."

Once the temporary library closes, Mrs. Kidd said, she and other staff and volunteers will pack up all of the library materials stored over the past year to what will be a fully accessible building downtown.

Mrs. Kidd said patrons who borrow books, videos, audio books and other materials before Aug. 18 will have two options: They may either return books to the book drop at the temporary library until it is removed; or they may return books to the book drop at library downtown.

"Items that are borrowed from us will not have a due date until after we reopen," Mrs. Kidd said.

While there will be no late fees or fines for locally borrowed books, patrons who borrow materials from the Central Western Massachusetts Automated Resource Sharing system should observe due dates and return those items to any of the neighboring libraries.

The library director said videos, books on tape and books on CD should not be put into the book drop, but returned once the library reopens.

"Right now, we're looking at a transition period of four to six weeks. That means the reopening will likely be sometime at the end of September or the beginning of October," Mrs. Kidd said.

She said the staff and volunteers will be putting books and other materials back on the shelves, and they will need time to familiarize themselves with the new technology incorporated into the $4.1 million project at the landmark building.

"We want to be certain that all of our staff are familiar and comfortable with the new building and equipment before we reopen," Mrs. Kidd said.

The library will likely have the same hours when it reopens: from 1 to 8 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday; and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

To have someone on all three levels of the library may mean that the paid staff will be supplemented by volunteers, Mrs. Kidd said.

Lisa M. Careau, director of the Merriam-Gilbert Public Library in West Brookfield, said that library assisted North Brookfield library patrons during the transition to temporary quarters at the start of the construction project.

"This is the closest library to North Brookfield that has full C/W MARS affiliation and we're always happy to have North Brookfield library patrons visit us, borrowing from our collection or using us as a pickup or return inter-library loan items," Ms. Careau said.

Mrs. Kidd said a grand opening celebration for the Haston Free Public Library is being planned.

ART: PHOTO

CUTLINE: Library Director Ann Kidd, left, and volunteer Janet Brennan pack books in preparation for moving to the renovated library.

PHOTOG: T&G Staff/DAN GOULD
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Aug 8, 2007
Words:631
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