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Carthage Free Library to reopen following renovations and expansion

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CARTHAGE — After being closed for more than three months, the bigger, better Carthage Free Library, 412 Budd St., will reopen at noon Thursday.

“There have been a couple of unexpected delays since we closed in September, but everything is pretty much ready to open the doors and get back to business as usual for our patrons,” said board of trustees President Camelia T. Moses.

Library Director Linda M. McCullough said a number of people helped throughout the renovation, packing up and moving books and shelves, refinishing shelves and woodwork and cleaning and reshelving books.

“We are very grateful to our volunteers,” she said.

The library will have special grand-opening events from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, with a ribbon-cutting at 5:30 p.m.

There will be children’s activities including crafts and face-painting. Teenagers may check out their new space, made possible by the expansion, and compete on the library’s new Wii game system. There will be displays about the library’s programs and tours of the building. Giveaways will be presented every half-hour, and music will be provided by Noah Landers. Refreshments, including donations from Stewart’s Shops and the Mad Hatter Cakery, will be available.

Ground was broken for the 3,400-square-foot addition in September 2011. The $1.1 million project nearly doubled the library’s space and improved its heating and cooling system. A wheelchair lift, a teen room, a separate area for computers and a community room were added. The project also enlarged the children’s reading room and the Heritage Room, where historical and genealogical documents are available.

The project received funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture through a $50,000 grant and $450,000 loan, and online donations and pledges amounted to about $900,000. Major donations were received from Slack Chemical, the Hasseler family, Carthage Federal Savings and Loan Association, the Hirschey families, Pratt-Northam Foundation, Northern New York Community Foundation and Stewart’s Shops.

“We haven’t quite met the initial goal and are still in need of pledges and donations,” Mrs. Moses said.

The library is continuing its sale of decorative memorial bricks to help defray the cost of the expansion and renovation. A decorative brick, at a cost of $50, will hold up to 40 characters, spaces included, and a premium brick at $100 will hold 80 characters. Order forms are available through local businesses, including the Carthage Republican Tribune office, 237 State St.

Following the grand reopening, regular hours will resume Dec. 7. The library will be open from noon to 8 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and from noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

For more information, call 493-2620 or log onto the library website at www.carthagefreelibrary.org.

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