Barbara Lawlor, Nederland. It’s hard to believe that six years ago, Nederland’s Community Library was squeezed into a bay in the shopping center. It was convenient to get to but inconveniently crowded inside.
On Jan. 29, 2011, after a professional book moving company completed the transition of books from the old library to the brand new library, each batch of books arriving in order, the library was furnished, spiffed up, hooked up, and ready for the grand opening celebration. It was the fourth time that the library had moved in the previous 10 years, but now that the library was in its very own building, with its very own creek and parking lot, it wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
From 1,800 square feet to 4,500 square feet, there was room to play and room to grow.
Last Saturday, Jan. 23, the NCL and its new library director Jay Mann and a few members of the board ate cake and told stories while they remembered and felt grateful for the awesome library that lives in Nederland.
Long-time board member Jean Foss says she has loved books from an early age, that they have been important in her life and she remembers when Nederland had no library. “I thought of the people in the books as real people and I would check out books over and over again.”
It wasn’t until the 80s that people began talking about the possibility of a library and a library district.
Sally Grahn, Hughes Moir and a band of readers began collecting books and money. There was a donation box at the B & F Mountain Market and people would donate their change from a purchase to the cause.
Enough people were interested in the cause and a committee led by Dale Porter was set up to find a space for the books. The district was created in 2002 with a fair amount of resistance. In fact, the library district bond issue passed by only five votes. The first Ned library was born in the Nederland Community Center and lived there until the Blizzard of 2003, when the NCC gymnasium roof collapsed.
The books were saved by a group of people who transported the books into the west wing, which had not been damaged. The library hung in there, in a cold, waterless structure, until a bay opened up in the bottom of the shopping center. Volunteers made the move and the library grew out of its walls. Five years ago all the determination and book moving paid off.
Nederland had a real library, one to be treasured and taken care of into the future.
Library director Jay Mann says now is the time to reassess and re-evaluate where the library is going, its needs and wants.
“I am hoping to have more technology and to collaborate with the school in their STEM program. A library is about the community and the connections.”
Diana Glasser, a former Nederland Elementary School teacher, says she donated her book collection to the library because she knew there was a limited bunch of books for the Nederland students. When she retired in 1974, she gave her books to the library. Many people have found her name within a book’s covers.