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Community library opened for DeWitt, Jamesville residents

Ally Moreo | Photo Editor

The new Community Library of DeWitt and Jamesville will act as a community hub in addition to a library and provide a space for child, teen and adult events.

A library serving the communities of Dewitt and the Jamesville has a new home after residing in ShoppingTown Mall for more than 50 years.

Last Saturday, officials celebrated with a grand opening event at the Community Library of DeWitt and Jamesville off Jamesville Road.

Wendy Scott, executive director of the library, spoke at the event — along with a New York state senator and the library’s architect, Chad Rogers. A ribbon was cut and tours of the facility were offered.

Mary Keib Smith, president of the library’s board of trustees, said it took a long time to complete the project.

“As president of the board we had to find a site to build on within our district, it was very hard. It took us five years,” Smith said.

Kerin Rigney, a Town of Dewitt board member, said the municipality did not have a “real” community center. The new library will give DeWitt residents the space they need to hold community meetings, Rigney said.

The library was originally located in the basement of ShoppingTown Mall before then moving into a place besides Sears at the mall.

When located at ShoppingTown Mall, the library did not have its own space and could not expand, said Brian Abbott, paralibrarian of public relations for the Community Library of DeWitt and Jamesville.

Since moving to its new location, the library has more space and is free standing, Abbott said. That space can be used for children, teen and adult events.

Abbott said the new location is more accessible to the community. Since the library is closer to residents, it gives people the option to walk or bike there. Currently, though, there is no bus service to the library.

Library officials reached out to Centro when securing a location for the building, Abbott said. He added that the closest bus stop to the library is now the Tops on Jamesville Road, less than a mile away.

Smith said a bus shuttle service on the weekend from local apartments to the library is an option, but a plan has not been laid out yet. Centro representatives did not respond to a request for comment.

The new library will include several green energy features. Abbott said the solar kiosk there will give patrons a way to learn more about solar energy.

Liz Casazza, a resident of DeWitt, said the library is beautiful place and she’s been looking forward to the new location.

The library is more than just a library, Scott said.

“As a community hub, our new library is more than a repository of books, it’s a people place, where library staff, community partners and patrons can come together to create, to collaborate and share,” she said.

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