Judging by the cars parked along both sides of State Road and the full parking lot of Alley’s, it might have been a summer Saturday in West Tisbury. Instead the crowd of more than 150 people were headed to the opening of the new West Tisbury library.
“There aren’t enough superlatives, are there?” Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners representative Mary Ann Cluggish said to the crowd.
Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners representative Mary Ann Cluggish speaks to crowd before ribbon cutting.
— Ivy Ashe
It has been 17 months since library staff, town selectmen and a crew of youngsters wearing pink and yellow hard hats broke ground on the library’s expansion, which more than doubled the space of the building. The project itself was first conceived six years ago, when the board of trustees began to imagine what the future of the library would be. They started to take more concrete steps in 2010, when a capital campaign headed by the West Tisbury Library Foundation kicked off.
“The way West Tisbury came together is an example for towns everywhere,” said Mrs. Cluggish. It wasn’t just the library committees or the selectmen, she added. “I think everybody but the shellfish constable got into the act.”
That community spirit is preserved in the thousands of names printed on a frieze around the library lobby—the private donors who contributed to the fundraising process.
Wide open rooms and lots of sunlight everywhere in new library.
— Ivy Ashe
“We kept the faith and worked as a team,” West Tisbury Library Foundation chair Hunter Moorman said, thanking the supporters from “West Tisbury, the Island and beyond” for their countless hours of work.
Library circulation assistant Jennifer Tseng read from a poem she penned the night before to commemorate the occasion. Trustee Linda Hearn snipped the green ribbon on the porch to loud applause, and a scramble ensued as kids raced up the steps to be the first into the new building.
Inside, people commented on the new coat room (fancy!) and snapped photos of the bright, open lobby, the centerpiece staircase, and the colorful children’s room, where the pink and yellow hard hats from the groundbreaking now served as decorations.
Aldo Noury-Ello, whose father Conrad is one of the building’s architects, curled up with a book inside Barney, an egg-shaped reading nook. Sisters Juliet and Andrea Morse checked out two books apiece from children’s librarian Nelia Decker. In the main room, John Harris browsed the DVD selection for his daily movie, opting for About Time.
Mr. Harris said the library staffers were the “friendliest people in the world.”
“It’s such a pleasant place to come,” he said.