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Published: Tuesday, 8/14/2001

Black tie festivities to reopen library


The Toledo-Lucas County Library will dress to the hilt on Saturday to celebrate the reopening of the Main Library, which has been under renovation for three years.

Festivities commence with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 6 p.m., when guests can hobnob with public officials and local celebrities, including Jamie Farr and Christine Brennan, author, national columnist, television panelist, and former sportswriter for the Washington Post. A black-tie gala follows at 7 p.m.

The public can purchase tickets to the gala for $100 and to the ribbon-cutting ceremony for $25 more. The library expects 700 to 1,000 guests, said Chris Kozak, a media-relations officer.

The event marks the first time the refurbished facilities will be open for viewing. Improvements include a gift store and caf , an expanded audio-visual center with listening stations and wide-screen TVs, and a children's library enlarged from 3,300 to 13,000 square feet. The third floor houses a local history department with space for rare books and manuscripts, including a letter penned by Thomas Jefferson.

"The additions and enhancements are spectacular," said John Szuch, chairman of Fifth Third Bank, who is chairing the event with his wife, Yolanda.

"It's got to be one of the most attractive library facilities in the country," he said.

For entertainment, the local improvisational comedy troupe the Around the Bend Players will circulate among guests, who can experiment with virtual reality equipment, and receive free copies of David Noel's book Information Revolution, about the history of the library.

All this swings to the beat of the Scott Potter Trio, a contemporary jazz band, and the Homewreckers, an eight-piece Toledo mainstay that performs classic rhythm and blues.

A free public open house will be Aug. 19, from 2 to 5 p.m.

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