The Tuscarawas County Library Board of Trustees cut the ribbon on the grand reopening of the New Philadelphia library.
NEW PHILADELPHIA (TuscoTV) - The ribbon was cut Thursday afternoon on the grand re-opening of the main branch of the Tuscarawas County Public Library System at 121 Fair Ave. in New Philadelphia.
Ceremonies kicked off with refreshments in the refurbished lobby and speeches Board President Mary Burns and Director Michelle Ramsell. Both speakers recognized all who were involved in the grand re-opening and paid respect to the amount of time and effort put into the project.
“We have a brand new renovated space; we’ve had expansions done, and today was the culmination of all our plans over the last ten years,” says Burns.
Director Ramsell says that while the project was a decade in the making, the actual construction and completion of the renovation took roughly fifteen months.
“We were all involved as the building project committee, working with the architects and seeing the project through from start to finish,” Ramsell says.
Amongst architectural changes, Ramsell says they’ve increased their meeting space three-fold, added flexible shelving, an expanded teen area with VR capabilities, an Imagination Station for children, and a brand new Makerspace for crafting and creative projects.
“For the past ten years, we’ve very much attuned with evolving our library system and making it friendly for 21st-century library users. That’s been a critical component of what we wanted to do and what we’ve been doing, but we really needed our building to be able to catch up with us,” says Ramsell.
Over at the new Makerspace administrative assistant Debbie Flood explained the new resources available to the public, including paper crafting, heat-transfer vinyl printing, button making and 3D printing. Flood says all are for use free of charge.
“We supply the equipment; you just bring supplies, and you can do it here at the library on your own time,” says Flood.
In addition to the Makerspace, festivities included live music, refreshments, virtual reality demonstrations and guided tours of the new parking lot and library interior, on 15-minute intervals.
In conclusion, Burns says --as president-- she and the board were instrumental in making final decisions about the renovation, specifically in regards to contractors and financing, and that the grand re-opening is proof the time and money were well spent.
Says Burns, “I love the fact that it’s going to be flexible, that there’s space for everyone, that we can have meetings, we can have programs, and we can just get people in the building for --not just books-- but for activities and learning.”
RYAN HOUK, TUSCO TV