Ashland community members form brigade to finish move to library

Saturday, November 17, 2012 | 3:57 p.m. CST; updated 11:01 p.m. CST, Saturday, November 17, 2012
On Saturday morning, Ashland residents passed books hand-to-hand to fill the Southern Boone County Public Library's new building. A white-dove release and a ribbon-cutting ceremony were also part of the festivities.

ASHLAND — The warning phrases, "Watch it, this one is heavy," and, "Use two hands," echoed as a heavy canvas bag filled with library materials passed through the hands of Ashland community members Saturday morning. 

About 300 Ashland residents gathered for the Southern Boone County Public Library's book brigade event, an effort to transport library books and magazines to the library's new home. The volunteers formed a human chain that stretched half a block from the old library location on East Broadway to the new facility on North Main Street.

The new library is set to open Monday at 9 a.m. It is nearly double the size of the former facility and will offer eight public access computers, two children's computers, more reader seating, a community meeting room, a drive-up book drop, a bike rack and paved parking.

The library is needed to accommodate increased traffic, said public relations manager Mitzi St. John. The cost for the new facility is estimated to be $238,000, according to information distributed at the event.

The last collections left to be moved by the brigade Saturday were children's books, magazines and new books, said associate director Elinor Barrett. These collections, which were stuffed into 70 canvas bags, were specially chosen because they do not require a lot of sorting or alphabetizing and they would not be too heavy to carry, she said.

"It's about creating a community event for the community to participate in opening their library," Barrett said.

The brigade consisted of people of a variety of ages, even those still in strollers not yet able to participate. Girl Scout and Cub Scout troops were also in attendance. Each member of the brigade wore a sticker that displayed his or her number in line and a pun, such as, "I'll pass," "Keep movin" and "Book it."

After about 15 minutes, cheers roared out as the last bag passed through the doors of the new facility. A ribbon-cutting ceremony, a dove release and the grand tour of the new library followed.

"This is a librarian's dream to have this many people come out to help us open our new library," said Melissa Carr, director of Daniel Boone Regional Library.

Supervising editor is Jeanne Abbott.

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