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New Grove Family Library wins raves from patrons

March 28, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA.

The Grove Family Library drew a crowd Monday during its grand opening, although the number of people it has attracted since opening almost two months ago has been rather impressive.

The new $3.5 million library at 101 Ragged Edge Road South had 5,600 visitors in February, twice as many visits as the older, much smaller library it replaced had in February 2005, Library Assistant Steve Emery said.

"And it has not abated," Emery said of the number of people using the library in March. "I suspect when the road is completed, we'll see more people."

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While the address is Ragged Edge Road, the extension of that road south of U.S. 30 is not complete and entry to the parking lot now is by a temporary gravel drive through the Guilford Township municipal property on Spring Valley Road.

Patrons - those who come in and get new library cards - rose from 35 in February 2005 to 224 this February, Library Director Louisa Cowles said. She estimated about 500 people attended Monday's open house.

Retirees and mothers with young children made up much of the crowd that passed through the spacious library Monday afternoon.

Dina Lininger said her family lives near Duffield, Pa., but used to go to the Alexander Hamilton Library in Waynesboro, Pa.

"Now this is a lot closer for us," she said.

"I like this one a lot ... Very, very a lot," 4-year-old Sarah Lininger said.

"I'm really impressed with the children's area," said Rosalie Lidard of Chambersburg. The building has the feel of being both a library and community center, she said.

Laurie Maynard and her son Aaron, 3, patronized the old Ragged Edge Library, which she said had the children's books and activities in two much smaller rooms. She said she brings her son to the Grove Family Library for story time on Fridays.

Sonja Newman, the youth coordinator, said three children's story times are held during the week - "Lap Time" for infants and toddlers on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. and preschool story times for children ages 3 to 5 on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. and Fridays at 10:30 a.m.

Capt. Coyle and Parrot Free, the mascots for the Coyle Free Library in Chambersburg, were at the grand opening of this sister library. Capt. Coyle, aka Coyle Library Director Todd Reynolds, read "Pirate School" for a group of children.

Franklin County Library System Executive Director Bernice Crouse said the library has been approved for a $30,000 state grant for furnishings and a federal grant of approximately $20,000 for nonfiction and children's materials.

The library has another event coming Saturday, April 8, a $45-per-person grand opening extravaganza during which a portrait of John L. and Cora I. Grove by portrait artist Lady Mignon Roscher Gardner will be unveiled.

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