MASON — Construction on a new addition to the Mason branch library began Thursday in hopes of having it completed in time for summer children’s programs.
The 20- by 40-foot room is being funded by a $40,000 grant from the Robert and Louise Claflin Foundation, and was the largest grant ever awarded by the foundation to date.
According to Pam Thompson, county library director, the room will house children’s books and will be known as the “Robert and Louise Claflin Annex.” In addition to housing books, the center of the room will be left open for children’s programs, such as story hour and summer reading.
Also included in the addition are a kitchenette and a restroom. The kitchenette will be used for a free lunch program that began last year, as well as other uses. The Mason library, as well as others in the county, served free lunches to children throughout the summer. The libraries have already committed to doing the lunch program again this year.
The new room will be available to the public and local organizations for meetings and events, according to Thompson. It will have its own outside entrance facing Third Street, so the remainder of the library can remained closed off during community use after business hours.
Thompson said a dedication ceremony will be conducted once the addition is completed. She said with the new annex and the Virgil A. Lewis Memorial Reading Park, which was completed last year next to the library, more programs can be put into place.
The foundation for the addition is now under way by Kevin Roush. County employees will construct the remainder of the room.
Thompson said she anticipates the addition being finished in time for summer reading, which begins in June. Plans are already in the works for an end-of-summer party, complete with inflatables at the park.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who lives in Mason County.