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Published: Wednesday, 3/22/2006

Bids due for 72-seat community room

BY JANET ROMAKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

METAMORA The Evergreen Community Library board of trustees is scheduled to open bids Tuesday for constructing a community room.

Estimated cost of the 72-seat room is $150,000. We re hoping for favorable bids, said Jane Dominique, library director. The board will meet Thursday to review the bids.

The library s former community room was converted into space for the children s and young adults areas a couple of years ago during a renovation project. Since then, the library has been using a small room that can seat only 24 people, thus limiting some programs, although Ms. Dominique said that the library staff has been creative in finding ways to adapt to the space limitations.

For instance, the popular summer reading program, which draws about 100 participants, is split into two sessions. Then, stations are set up in the library for the young readers. It becomes a progressive kind of program, she said. It can be a little disruptive. We can t wait to have the new community room.

If the bids come in favorably, construction could begin soon. It would be nice for it to be ready by the fall, but I am not sure how long it will take to build it, she said.

The new, large room, which would be available for rental by the public, could be used for more library programs involving performances, rather than just lecture-type programs. Ballroom dance demonstrations, for instance, might be offered.

Through ongoing fund-raising efforts since 2003, and a $12,000 bequeath from the estate of Ruth Nachtrieb, the library has collected a total of $39,000 to put toward the community room. The balance of the money will come from the library s savings.

A special tribute is planned to honor Miss Nachtrieb, a former Metamora High School teacher who died last summer. Her former students are being asked to write expressions of thanks and share how the distinguished teacher affected their education and careers. Letters and e-mail notes about Miss Nachtrieb, who taught English and business classes, can be sent to the library to be included in the memorial book.

Miss Nachtrieb, who taught in Metamora from 1946 to 1968, was a library trustee for many years. She was a charter member of the Fulton County Retired Teachers Association, and she was known for her crossword puzzle skills, said Donna Gillen, who taught at Metamora High School. She made up crossword puzzles and sold them to magazines. She did that for several years after she retired. She was real good at it.

Miss Nachtrieb s gift is an example of how important the library is to the Evergreen community. We re like a little hub in the community with so many services. We even have UPS, the library director said. We re an information center, and we try to go beyond the traditional services. We try to branch out and do creative things. We even started a library cafe.

Beginning this month, patrons can stop by the cafe in a little nook in the library where hot tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and cappuccino are available, as well snacks. With Northwest State Community College near Archbold planning to set up a branch campus in Metamora, the library anticipates more traffic in and out of the building. The library cafe would give college students a place to take a break from their studies.

Contact Janet Romaker at: jromaker@theblade.com. or 419-724-6006



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