On Friday, there was an open house for the newly expanded and refurbished Charles M. Bailey Public Library. Books were shelved, pictures were hung, and toys were in their places. All the packing boxes had been spirited away, and as Shane, the adult services librarian put it, the library looked presentable. It certainly did.
In the new events room, we had a table set up with cake, cupcakes, and bottled water. I wondered, “Would there be enough cake for everyone?” This was followed by the terrible thought, “What if hardly anyone came and there was too much cake?”
I needn’t have worried at all. When the doors opened at 4:00 p.m. , there was a rush of people. Shane was keeping count, and by 4:20 p.m., fifty people had come to the open house. And people just kept coming.
The library was duly admired and fussed over. Children, upon seeing the new children’s wing, didn’t want to leave.
The day was a smashing success, but there were three highlights for me. The first was when a woman whom I hadn’t seen for a while—she is part of our book group—said hi and then asked, “So what are you reading?” Was there ever a better question? I told her I was reading The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, and for five minutes or so, we had some great book talk.
The second was a conversation I had with a bright teenage girl. She had taken out two graphic novels of The Flash, and we had a fun time talking about the Flash and Daredevil and their television shows.
Finally, and best of all, so many people thanked me for the work I had done as a trustee and a campaign volunteer for the library expansion. A simple thank you costs nothing at all and means so much.
The final count? Over 150 people came to the open house, and we all decided it was a rousing success.
On Monday, there will be a ribbon cutting, and the doors will open at 10:00 a.m. After being closed for several weeks, Bailey Public Library will be back in business.
Onward to the next hundred years!