Myers Memorial Library Celebrates Recent Remodel

The Myers Memorial Library recently received a $218,000 renovation of its main floor. Between financial contributions from a state grant, local community foundations and the town of Carroll, the library was able to be transformed and updated into a popular community-friendly location. Pictured, from left, are Rachel Roushey and Izabela Nowak. P-J photos by Timothy Frudd

The Myers Memorial Library is holding an open house celebration of its recent renovation Nov. 17 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Renovations to the main floor of the Myers Memorial Library include all new shelves, cabinets, tables, lighting, carpets, a new bathroom, a new drinking fountain, a new office, a new checkout desk and a new staircase leading to a newly renovated attic storage space.

In addition to the renovation to the main floor, the library also added new furniture in the downstairs “teen room,” to enhance the space for the community.

Director Izabela Nowak said the library applied for a state grant in 2020, which took about a year to process and receive approval for the renovation.

“It took some time,” she said, “especially after the pandemic. Everything was delayed.”

The Myers Memorial Library renovations included all new bookshelves.

Librarian Rachel Roushey explained the library closed for renovation work in November of last year and reopened the upstairs portion of the library in June. While the library is waiting on the finishing touches, Nowak said they are pleased with how the renovations have turned out.

Roushey said the public has also been very responsive to the new layout of the library.

“Everyone who comes in says it’s so open, it’s so fresh and it looks so clean,” she said. “Most people’s comments are that it’s so much brighter.”

Nowak said almost everything on the main floor of the library is new, thanks to the recent renovation. The new design allows the library to be more open and more accessible for patrons.

“Now everything is visible,” she said. “Everything is accessible for people. I think everybody enjoys it.”

After renovating the downstairs portion of the library in 2018 and 2019, Nowak and Roushey said the main floor of the library was in need of an update in order to maintain consistency and quality for visitors.

Asked why the library chose to make renovations now, Nowak said, “I thought it needed updating. For people to come and use it you have to stay relevant, you have be more accessible, you have to be more friendly. I think we were just really outdated before, so building something new and fresh, we will attract new people and new families. They need to know we have a space for them.”

State grant funding accounted for 75% of the renovation cost. The remaining cost of the renovation was covered by donations from the Chautauqua Community Foundation and the Lenna Foundation, as well as COVID-19 relief funding from the town of Carroll. Nowak and Roushey both expressed appreciation for those who contributed to the renovations.

Nowak explained the renovations, which cost $218,000, would not have been possible without the generosity of the organizations that contributed. She said it was the “worst time” to make renovations due to COVID-19 restrictions and the price increases on building materials.

“It was all possible because of the state grant and the foundations and the town,” Nowak said.

The open house will feature light refreshments, a tour of the library and a special book art sculpture display by Lindsey Vitello, a local art teacher, and her students.

“All the board members will be here to welcome people,” Nowak said. “We hope some new patrons will come to see what we done because a lot of people in our community haven’t been here for years.”

Roushey said that the renovations have already made an improvement on the library’s community outreach.

“I feel like right now we’ve had more and more people sign up for library cards who haven’t had them, so it has worked because people are getting the word out,” she said. “We already are noticing since we reopened an increase in new patrons and new families.”

In addition to providing books and movies for the community, Nowak said the library has many other benefits to offer people. The Myers Memorial Library offers numerous programs for the community to take advantage of. Roushey said the library space is also used for tutoring and other educational purposes throughout the week.

“We just want people to be able to use this space to help others in the community,” she said. “It’s just a space for people to come together.”


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