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New North Berkeley (Co.) Public Library scheduled to open next week

September 24, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

SPRING MILLS, W.Va. -- With circulation up 11 percent over the previous fiscal year, next week's opening of a larger facility for North Berkeley Public Library couldn't come at a better time.

The new facility at 1255 T.J. Jackson Drive off W.Va. 901 is almost triple the size of the library's current location on the ground floor of the Marlowe Ruritan Club, according to Martinsburg-Berkeley County Public Library system Director Pamela K. Coyle.

It is scheduled to open Oct. 1.

The new space, configured from two "instructional cottages" donated by the Berkeley County Board of Education, is about 1,200 square feet in size, Coyle said.

Mobile shelving units will allow multiple uses of the space, which Coyle anticipates will be inviting to library patrons.

While temporary, Coyle expects exterior alterations will be done to improve the building's appearance on two acres next to CNB bank that was donated in 2007 by Panhandle Builders & Excavating Inc.

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The donation came about after library officials determined a previous land offer could not be used.

E.I du Pont de Nemours and Co. in July 2006 donated nine acres to Bedington Volunteer Fire Department. The fire department almost immediately announced its intent to give two acres for a library, but library officials determined that the land was too expensive for the library to develop.

A public library is part of plans for the proposed Spring Mills Area High School, which is part of the proposed school construction bond question to be decided on Saturday in a special election. The library board, while supportive, has not taken an official position on the issue, Coyle said.

The county library system currently partners with the school district on the operation of a southern Berkeley County library at Musselman High School.

Coyle said efforts continue to build a new branch library for Hedgesville and library officials are exploring interim alternatives there while money is raised to build a new building.

Circulation at the Hedgesville branch in Naylor Memorial Hall has increased 15 percent from the previous fiscal year.

In other library news, library officials on Thursday announced the 2010 West Virginia Book Faire on April 16 and 17 in Martinsburg would feature ABC News political commentator and author Cokie Roberts; 'Gods and Generals' author Jeff Shaara; Jeff Peltzer, author of "A Child called It;" and Martinsburg native Walter Dean Myers, an author of young adult literature.

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