At long last, library will open tomorrow for Pasadena residents

August 05, 1994|By TaNoah V. Sterling | TaNoah V. Sterling,Sun Staff Writer

It has taken 10 years of petitions and lobbying boards and commissions, but at last the Mountain Road Library will open for business tomorrow in four storefronts in Long Point Mall.

"We have wished this so long," said Sue Fortner, a Pasadena resi dent of 25 years. "Our dream has come true."

Mrs. Fortner is a member of the Chesapeake Women's Club, the group that first petitioned in 1984 to open a branch that would serve the students on the Lake Shore peninsula.

"Marie Phelps was president that year," she recalled. "With over 3,000 children attending the schools in the peninsula, she started with a library petition."

The group, which is a local chapter of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, collected 4,500 signatures supporting the idea to open a new library, and since then it has been the club's top priority.

They took their case to county officials, trying to convince them of the need for a library. In 1991, County Executive Robert R. Neall appointed a citizens committee to recommend a site. In May 1993 the County Council cut money for the library from the capital budget, but restored it last November.

"We're very proud of what we've done," Mrs. Fortner said, adding that 85 percent of libraries across the country were established by a Women's Club, according to a book on the organization's history.

The Chesapeake Women's Club will dedicate the book, "Reaching Out," by Mary Jean Houde, tomorrow in memory of Mrs. Phelps, who died in 1987.

Library spokeswoman Diane Rey said the new library is the fourth in the county to be located in a shopping center.

"We try to locate the libraries in high-traffic areas," she said. "Ultimately our goal is to serve more people."

She said the new branch will serve approximately 14,000 people in Pasadena.

The grand opening for the $1.5 million project will begin with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m.

Young patrons can enjoy a variety of entertainment at the grand opening, including the "Get Loose with Mother Goose" show, a funny twist on the traditional nursery rhymes, at noon; a performance by Mandy the Clown at 1 p.m.; and a magic show ZTC featuring Michael Chamberlin at 2 p.m.

Others can check out the 8,800 square feet of the full-service library and begin borrowing from the 55,000-item collection of books, audio and video tapes and compact discs.

The library also has three computers for public use, including a new IBM-486, and another that has educational software on dinosaurs and American history for children.

"We're expecting to see a lot of smiling faces on Saturday," said Ronald S. Kozlowski, county library administrator. "The county has been eager for the grand opening day to arrive."

The branch will begin regular operating hours on Aug. 8. It will be open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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