Dozens of local children eagerly helped the Lancaster Public Library kick off its move to Ewell Plaza on Saturday morning.
The “Parade of Books” invited children and their families to pick up a picture book at the old library and carry it down Marion Street to the new one. After dropping it off, they could enjoy popcorn, activities and a peek through the glass doors into the new library’s foyer.
Wednesday was the Duke Street site’s last day of operation. Over the coming weeks, the library will move its holdings to the Ewell Plaza location, where it plans to open toward the end of May.
Sharon Schinagl, early literacy librarian, was stationed at the new library’s entrance, where she accepted the books proffered by small hands and slotted them into place on a book cart.
Photos: Tim Stuhldreher | One United Lancaster. Hover over images to view captions.
“Isn’t this fantastic?” she exclaimed. “We’re so glad that people are helping us move.”
Among those taking part were Reyna and Reiya Reinmiller, the daughters of Mark Reinmiller, the chairman of the Lancaster Parking Authority board.
The authority built the two-story, 43,000-square-foot building that the library will occupy as part of its $34 million Christian Street Garage project, and is leasing it for 99 years at no cost. The library’s relocation is costing $10 million, which includes $500,000 for its endowment.
“I think it’s going to be a great addition to the square,” Reinmiller said.
The Duke Street branch has struggled with expensive maintenance issues, including roof leaks and basement mold. The Ewell Plaza location is exciting, parent Carmalena Stoltzfus-Iyengar said: Its prominence will promote community connection and the new facility make it easier for the library to care for its collection.
Library Executive Director Lissa Holland described the Parade of Books as a “once in a lifetime” event and the library’s way of saying thanks to the community.
“We’re thrilled at the number of people who have come out,” she said.