After two years of being essentially a one-room library, capped by three weeks of being totally closed, the Westerly Library is almost fully open. I say “almost” only because the 960s and up (that includes much Western Hemisphere history) and the biographies aren’t out yet. They’re going to go into what used to be the darkest, murkiest room in the entire place, where fiction from the first half of the alphabet used to live. The workers just couldn’t manage to get all the books out of storage and into their new homes during those last three weeks. (The place has between 70,000 and 80,000 books, which is a lot of books.)
This picture is of what they call the Old Main Reading Room. Since at least 1995 or so, this room had history books and a couple of tables. My wife, who has lived around here longer than I have, remembers when it was the reading room. That little alcove with the stained-glass rendition of Ninigret pushes into what used to be the room with the biographies; that’s office space now. (Ninigret used to be out by the main entrance.) Children and teens have moved downstairs, where 000 through about 910 used to be. Reference is on the second floor, where the kids were. Videos are kind of in the same place, but they have the whole room, as the new books have moved out to where the reference used to be…. I’ll figure it all out eventually. I’m just so happy it’s back!