MARLBOROUGH – Andrew Carnegie never imagined anything like this.
Public computers, meeting rooms, study areas, a children’s room, a teen room, all within a building created with funds from the philanthropist more than 100 years ago.
After an extensive renovation lasting more than two years, the Marlborough Public Library is back in its original location and open to the public.
The grand opening on Monday, Oct. 2, drew local and state officials, along with the library’s Board of Trustees, the Marlborough Library Foundation and residents of all ages.
“Marlborough has made a powerful statement for the public good,” said Fred Haas, chairman of the Trustees. “I hope it serves as a renaissance for the entire downtown.”
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“You did the work, you chose to fund this public space,” said Vicky Biancolo of the state’s Board of Library Commissioners. “You’ve taken a stand against bias and hate.”
The MBLC granted $10 million toward the project, with private fundraising chipping in another $2 million.
“Generations to come will enjoy this facility,” said state Rep. Carmine Gentile.
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Several speakers acknowledged the work of the library’s building committee and Margaret Cardillo, who served as the library’s director during most of the project.
Trustees, the building committee and members of the City Council joined Mayor Arthur Vigeant in cutting the ribbon before declaring the library officially open.
“It’s a great day and a great project,” said Vigeant.
Some work still needs to be completed, such as the community room and local history room, and some funds still need to be raised. For details, visit https://www.marlborough-ma.gov/library/mpl-foundation
Days before the official grand opening, Library Director Sara Belisle led a tour of the facility.
The second floor features the main circulation area, meeting rooms (with features for video conferencing), the children’s room (including an area for preschoolers, and an area for older children), a café (one of the few places where food and drink are allowed) and even a puzzle table.
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The first floor features a local history room (still under construction), the community room and the teen area room.
There’s also the periodicals room, which has something long hidden from the public – a fireplace, uncovered after more than six decades. The fireplace and fleur de lis screen are original to the library; the woodwork surrounding the fireplace is a reproduction.
On both floors, large windows let in the light, and offer views of the city.
The new library’s front entrance is on Witherbee Street. There’s parking for 35 vehicles near the entrance; as part of the work being done on the street, an empty lot will be converted into parking for an additional 35 vehicles.
For information about programs and services, visit https://www.marlborough-ma.gov/library-0