Open house Tuesday to showcase Mason Public Library upgrades


Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 05-08-2023 1:48 PM

For the first time since moving to its current location more than 30 years ago, the Mason Public Library underwent renovations to freshen the space and make it more accessible for its growing user base.

The library is hosting an open house for residents to see the upgrades Tuesday, May 9, from 3 to 7 p.m.

“We’re hoping residents will come and see what their tax dollars have done,” said Library Director Judy Forty.

In March, voters approved $8,000 for renovations at the library, located within the Mann House, which also houses the town offices. The library has been in the Mann House since moving from the former parsonage, and hasn’t seen any updates since moving into the space 36 years ago, Forty said.

Upgrades include new vinyl flooring replacing the carpet, painting the walls, redoing the stairs between the adult and children’s levels and replacing some of the shelving with mobile carts, which allows for the adult room to become a larger gathering space when needed.

“One of the reasons we wanted to change the adult space was the shelves. We had divided up the room and it didn’t allow us to have any meeting space, or space where we could hold events,” Forty said.

For example, the library’s Tot Time has become popular enough to draw more than 20 participants, which Forty said their children’s area couldn’t support. Similarly, last summer’s Summer Reading Program was held outdoors, in part because there was not sufficient room in the library itself.

The mobility of the carts allows the room to be opened up to create a wide floor space, to accommodate gatherings and programs and to set up tables for crafts, Forty said.

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“It opens up a lot of new possibilities for us,” Forty said.

Forty said the library’s use has grown about 44 percent in the last year, with a circulation of about 7,000 items.

The open house will include a tour of the updated space, giveaways of Mason Public Library book bags, coloring books for children and refreshments.

In addition, Tuesday will also be the debut of the library’s seed library, a project done in collaboration with the Griffith family as a homeschool project. Patrons are allowed to “borrow” seeds from the library for spring planting. There is no requirement to replenish the seed library, but users are encouraged to save seeds from their gardens to donate back to the library for the following year.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172, Ext. 244, or She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.