New look for library

Staff at the Canastota Library would like to publicly show off its renovations at an open house. The open house, scheduled for April 21 at 7 p.m. will serve as a celebration of the library's new look and as a thank you to volunteers and Friends of the Library who worked to make the library a community resource.

In December the library closed its doors for a week and crews began installing new carpeting in the reception area and stairway leading to the downstairs area. The reception area has new oak cabinets and granite countertop.

"We wanted to have something that really fit the style of our old building," said Liz Metzger, library director. "The oak raised panels compliment our front door and staircase."

Mike Ball of B & H Custom Cabinets of Munnsville installed the cabinetry that tucks away the library's office equipment, out of sight from patrons.

Sullivan Studios in Chittenango designed a stained glass window in one of the cabinet doors that matches the design in the library's window transom.

The restroom was updated with a new low-flow toilet, tiled floor and new vanity. The restroom door - which was first installed in the early 1900s when the library was built with grant money from Andrew Carnegie - was stripped to its original wood and refinished.

Also updated was the Lawson Community Room located in the downstairs area of the library. New carpeting was installed and the kitchen area was updated with new oak cabinets and laminate countertop.

"The appliances were donated by a generous patron and the microwave was donated by a group that uses the room a lot," Metzger said.

A new coat of paint was applied to the stairway, which concluded the work.

"The contractors did very well by us," Metzger said. "The board went to Upstate Stone and selected the granite and we all worked on the style of the desk to make the most of the storage space. It was a collaborative effort. Everything went smoothly."

How did the library afford such elaborate upgrades?

A year before Metzger was hired as library director in 1995 the board at that time decided to take the director's salary and invest it in a CD.

"The interest paid for the renovations," Metzger said. "So you see, we've been saving for a long time. We have a very, very fiscally sound board."

During the open house refreshments will be served in the Lawson Community Room.

The library is located at 102 We. Center St.

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