Friday, September 22, 2023

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Pugwash Library Doubles in New Activity
Staff Reporter
/ Categories: News

Pugwash Library Doubles in New Activity

When planning was underway for the new library in Pugwash, Cumberland County’s regional librarian knew it would be a hit. 

To quote the movie, Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.”

Denise Corey said, “I never doubted it for a moment. We knew how much a new library was needed and the numbers show it. In the first three weeks we had close to 1,600 people through the door and it hasn’t slowed down any since then” She added, “I don’t know the population of Pugwash off the top of my head, but I know it’s less than that. It shows what the library means to the area.”

After years of planning, the Municipality of Cumberland decided last year to move forward with the project, committing approximately $1.7 million to the $2.198-million price tag. The community raised nearly $600,000.

From opening day on February 5th, hundreds of people have been flowing in to use the facility.

Mayor Murray Scott says, “We were told all along the library in Pugwash would be a well-used facility and it’s no surprise to us to see how busy it has been.” He added, “We knew that for many years there was lots of talk about what the facility would look like and as people came and went it changed several times. We, as a council, decided it was time to build it. The decision was made that the community really needed this library and let’s just build it. It’s a great addition to the community. We’re very proud of it.”

Looking back to pre-COVID in April 2019, approximately 800 people used the library. Corey says, “We have more than doubled in most months the number of people walking through the door and it’s mainly because they can come in and sit down and do so many things they couldn’t do in the old library.”

There are teachers bringing their classes to introduce them to the library, while care workers are able to bring clients from nearby the Sunset Community. There are two book clubs and a knitting club that meet each Tuesday.

One of the reasons for the increased numbers is the building’s accessibility. Another factor is space. At 3,900 square feet, it’s much larger than the former library in the old train station.

The knitting group went from eight to 16 people.

The community room, something the former library didn’t have, has become very popular with everything from the Pugwash Yacht Club to the Pugwash Farmers Market, Communities in Bloom, and the Cumberland Chamber of Commerce using the room for meetings.

As busy as the library is now, it is expected to balloon again with the arrival of cottagers and other summer visitors.

Still to come is the landscaping with a patio and the addition of the latest mural in the Pugwash Open Air Gallery.

The Municipality of Cumberland will provide another boost when it opens an office to serve the administrative needs in Pugwash.

The library’ is open 10 AM to 3 PM on Mondays and Saturdays; 10 to 1 and 2 to 5 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and Wednesdays from 10 AM to 8 PM.

The formal and official opening for the library is set for Saturday, July 29th as part of HarbourFest.

Photos by Darrell Cole.

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