Laura Pritchard, director of the Dannemora Free Library, stands in the library’s new location in the Village of Dannemora Office Building on outer Emmons Street. Pritchard said she’s finally starting to feel settled into her new location about a month after the move.
Laura Pritchard feels right at home.
The director of the Dannemora Free Library has found a place for every book in the library’s new location in the new Village of Dannemora Office Building on Emmons Street.
“It’s really wonderful,” Pritchard said of the new location. “We have plenty of space.”
The library was moved the last week of August from its former location in the Town of Dannemora Office Building on Cook Street. That location, said Pritchard, has only about one-third the space as the new location.
“We just have a lot more room,” said Pritchard.
Having that room has allowed for Pritchard to not only bring along the thousands of books the library already has, but has given her the ability to do something she hasn’t thought of doing for some time — expanding the library’s collection.
“We’ve already added over a hundred books in the last month,” said Pritchard. “Some books were donated, some were purchased through a grant through Sen. Betty Little. Some we purchased ourselves.”
Pritchard has been focusing on expanding the library’s offering of young adult reading, which, in the previous location, only allowed for a bookcase measuring approximately 4 ft. wide by 6 ft. tall. Now, Pritchard has three additional bookshelves she hopes to one day fill to meet the needs of her young reader.
“Just last week, I purchased six more young adult books,” Pritchard said, adding she’s seeking input from both her young adult readers and other patrons on what they would like to see offered in the library.
Another benefit of the move, said Pritchard, has been improved access and parking. The former location had very little on-street parking available, which was also metered.
“[The Cook Street location] made it hard for people with walkers, strollers and wheelchairs because of the stairs,” said Pritchard. “People struggling with mobility had a hard time. We even had some patrons stop coming because they couldn’t manage the stairs.”
While he didn’t stop coming to the library at its old location, Leigh Walpole of Dannemora said the stairs made it difficult for him to enjoy his trips to the library.
“I’m not an invalid by any means, but sometimes I have shortness of breath,” said Walpole, who suffers from chronic lung disease. “And, that was quite a few steps up. Those steps seemed to get steeper every year.”
Walpole said he’s excited about the new location because of it being at ground level and because of its ample parking. He’s able to look at the move in a positive light both as a patron and as a former member of the library’s board of directors, who have long eyed a move to a more convenient location.
“It’s quite an improvement. It’s good for everyone, whether they’re handicapped or not,” said Walpole.
“And, we don’t have to worry about the meter maid,” Walpole added, laughing.
Hearing the move has benefitted her patrons is music to her ears, said Pritchard.
“It’s like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” she said. “Now, they have complete access ... It’s just an amazing thing for my patrons.”
Pritchard said plans are in the works to also create Wi-fi stations in the new library adjacent to five already established computer workstations.
“Once we’re done, will have room for three to four people to come in with their laptops and work comfortably,” said Pritchard. “It’s going to be great.”
The Dannemora Free Library, now located at 40 Emmons St., is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Tuesday 2 to 8 p.m. The library may currently be reached at its temporary number, 492-3048. The library’s permanent number, 492-7005, should be accessible in the coming weeks, said Pritchard.