|By Debbie Gardner
On Nov. 16, there will be a grand opening celebration for the new Granby Free Public Library, located on Route 202.
Reminder Publications submitted photo
GRANBY – A dream more than 40 years in the making will finally become reality on Nov. 16, when the town celebrates the grand opening of the newly completed Granby Free Public Library.
Virginia Snopek, chair of both the Granby Library Board of Trustees and the Library Building Committee said the completion of the $4.6 million state-of-the-art facility – made possible through a combination of public and private grants and fundraising – was, in all respects, a community-wide effort.
“In 2010 when we were awarded the [$2.6 million] grant [by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC)], we put up a fundraising sign in front of the library that said “Together We Can,” and those three words have been the driving force through this whole public library project,” Snopek said. “We have worked together to build this public library.”
The grand opening celebration kicks off with a performance by the Granby Junior-Senior High School Band at 10:15 a.m., followed by an official ribbon-cutting and dedication at 10:30 a.m. The new handicapped-accessible library – which includes a teen room, technology space and multi-purpose community room that can accommodate up to 60 people – will then be open for self-guided tours until 1:30 p.m.
“In our little library we said space, not imagination, interfered with what we could give to patrons,” Snopek noted. “That will no longer be an issue. We have the space, and the imagination.”
Among the dignitaries attending the dedication will be retired MBLC Commissioner Patience Jackson, whom Snopek said initially worked with the town to explore adding to the library’s original 1917 Carnegie building.
“She is the very first person we dealt with when we started on this journey [40 years ago] and it is exciting that she is coming to our library,” Snopek said.
State Sen. Gale Candaras, who will also attend the ribbon cutting, had praise for the town’s dedication to the library project.
“The opening of the free public library in this new building is the culmination of years of effort by so many people,” Candaras noted. “It is a truly auspicious event for the town of Granby. The library’s beautiful new location will serve as great place for the community to come together for educational and cultural events.”
MBLC Commissioner and South Hadley resident Jan Resnick, who attended the library’s groundbreaking in October 2012 and will speak at the dedication, commended the town for its commitment to bring “an incredible place to learn to love to read, think, and to discover new ideas,” to residents and most especially, the community’s young people.
Resnick stated that Granby “is very fortunate to have such hard working and devoted staff, trustees, and library supporters who have spearheaded this superb endeavor, done all the paperwork, slogged through the details, and worked so very, very hard to bring the project to completion.”
State Rep. Ellen Storey is also slated to attend the dedication.
Snopek said all the residents of Granby should also consider themselves dignitaries at this event, as everyone in the community “played a role in this project.”
“There were so many different people involved, many different community members involved that had never before headed something but believed so strongly and saw the need and stepped forward … to take part in our fundraising efforts,” she added.
Among the fundraising activities spearheaded by community members were Granby’s first-ever garden tour, and a home tour, Snopek noted.
She added that fundraising efforts, such as the sale of memorial bricks to edge the library’s walkways, would be ongoing in order to support the purchase of additional technology, furnishings, and landscaping for the new facility.
“The dream goes on, but we have reached the reality of a state-of-the art library,” Snopek said.
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