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Work crews are out in full force at Canton's new library

Published in the Canton Observer, September 8, 1988.

Work crews are out in full force at Canton's new library.

"We're trying a whole new concept for public libraries" with a receptionist who will answer phones as well as greet patrons, direct them and answer basic question, Sebestyen-Tabor said.

The new building is a stark contrast to the existing cramped quarters on the third floor at township hall, Sebestyen-Tabor said. All the furnishings, shelving and other equipment from the present library will be trucked across the street to the new site, she said.

The book collection will grow from 85,000 to 125,000 volumes, she said. And an elaborate computer system will be added sometime after the opening.

"ONE OF the biggest problems with the existing building is quiet," she said.

So a quiet room with carpeted walls overlooking a Japanese garden will be included. The theme is in gratitude to American Yazaki Corp., a development on I-275 and Haggerty, for donating $10,000 to the Canton Library Board.

A fireplace and tapestry on the walls will set a serene tone in the free reading area; the young adult section will showcase career files and college catalogs; and an equipment room will offer computers, word processors, typewriters and other equipment for public use free of charge.

SALT WATER aquariums will be on display in the children's department and a garden outside will be open for story and playtime.

The price tag for everything, including building, furnishings and landscaping, is $4.5 million. Sebestyen-Tabor estimated patron traffic would increase 40 percent.

The library has more than 30,000 card-holding patrons and circulates almost 400,000 books annually.

"We would like our service to be equal to the building," said Sebestyen-Tabor, adding that the library wil be hiring four part-time adult reference librarians and two part-time childrens librarians. The total staff will be increased from 40 to 50 employees, she said.

A community meeting room will most likely be available free to non-profit groups, Sebestyen-Tabor said.

Although the floors are still dusty and uncarpeted and other finishing touches are still to be done, the grand opening and dedication is targeted 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13.

The closing of the existing library is Oct. 16. However, the book drop will continue to operate, Sebestyen-Tabor said.

[Work crews are out in full force at Canton's new library.]
[photos by Bill Bresler / staff photographer]
[Electrician Patty Durand installs strip electrical outlets in a library study room.]