Fall Festival Planned To Kick Off Library Effort

BERLIN – As a new Berlin library moves closer to reality, area residents are invited to kick off the building’s capital campaign with a festival this fall.

On Sept. 26, the Worcester County Library Foundation will host a celebration at the site of the new library, which is to be located next to the Waystead Inn on Harrison Avenue.

“We knew we wanted to have a kickoff event to raise awareness,” said Lisa Stant, adult program manager for the Worcester County Library. “What better way to do it than have a festival?”

Berlin officials approved the event, which will run from 2-6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, at last week’s Mayor and Council meeting. Though they had concerns about where attendees would park, Berlin Police Chief Arnold Downing assured them that his officers would be assisting and coordinating with neighboring property owners to ensure it didn’t become a problem.

“I don’t think parking is going to be an issue,” Downing said.

At the event in September, members of the library foundation are hoping to begin collecting donations toward the new building, Stant said. They’ll also be selling bricks to be installed at the new facility.

“We need to raise about $300,000,” Stant said.

She says the fundraising will be set in the middle of a festive atmosphere, with plenty of activities for children and adults. In addition to a moon bounce and pony rides, the WW Tunes will be offering live entertainment. A number of vendors are also expected.

“It’s fun for the whole family which is what the library is all about,” Stant said.

Construction documents are currently being prepared for the new library and are expected to be complete by spring. The new building, which will replace the small, aging structure on Main Street, will provide library users with significantly more space than they’re accustomed to. The two-story building, which will be 11,000 square feet, will include the usual book collection and children’s area as well as a space for teens, a technology area and meeting rooms. The new facility will also be energy efficient and will meet ADA guidelines, with wider aisles and improved accessibility.

“Everybody has heard about the new library and seems excited,” Mayor Gee Williams said. “The enthusiasm is grass roots.”