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Lehighton library plans repairs from Sept. 10-29

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    The Lehighton Area Memorial Library will close for three weeks to replace carpeting and make other improvements. Here, volunteer Drue Haydt helps to consolidate books and prepare two of the library’s shelving units for removal. The units will be stored for use in the library’s proposed addition. Their removal will give the library more space for seating and meeting places. STACEY SOLT/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Published September 04. 2018 12:10PM

The Lehighton Area Memorial Library will be closed for three weeks this month, but the director promises patrons there will be big changes and a new look when they open their doors again on Oct. 1.

The library will have its last day on Sept. 8. After closing the doors for the weekend, it will reopen for a team of volunteers and a construction crew, all dedicated to giving the local library a major overhaul.

“With the assistance of the Carbon Chamber and Economic Development Corp., we have received funding from the Commonwealth Financing Authority,” said library Director Melissa Hawk, who noted that the first stage of changing the library’s looks took part in the spring when they installed new shades to regulate sunlight and improve the look of the interior.

“Next we are replacing the carpet. It is showing its age with stains and worn areas that, if left go, will cause safety issues. In addition to replacing the carpet, improvements will be made to the floor,” she said.

“We are also moving some items and rearranging some areas to make the space we have more functional. There will be open areas to allow room for programs and more seating for patrons to relax, work and study.”

A small portion of the changes to come is already obvious, as library staff and volunteers have been busy consolidating books and DVDs to free up space. They’ll be removing two shelving units and storing them to be used in a new addition that the library intends to add once funding is in place.

Over the next week, Hawk is encouraging library patrons to stop by and stock up on books and DVDs. She’s hoping to ensure that everyone has enough materials to hold them over.

Books borrowed during the closure also won’t need to be stored for those three weeks.

“Our new policies allow patrons to borrow up to 15 items at a time so we are hoping that will help,” said Hawk.

Really need a book after next week? The library will also offer limited hours at a nearby business for patrons who need to borrow books during late September.

“We know that people rely on us and so we want to make sure we can offer some materials during this time. That is why we are offering a ‘Pop up Library’ at the Jokers are Wild Game Café,” she said.

“They have graciously agreed to host us, and we are looking forward to serving our patrons in this comfortable setting and to lunching on their awesome grilled cheese sandwiches!”

Lehighton’s pop-up library will be open from 3 to 6 p.m. Sept. 18 and Sept. 25; and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 21 and Sept. 28.

No materials will be accepted for returns during the closure, and the library’s book drop will be closed.

No books or DVDs will be due until the library reopens, and no fines will be charged during this time for late books.

“We have quite a few volunteers ready to help, but will put out a call for extras if necessary,” said Hawk.

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