New Berwick Library a popular gathering place

Published on January 26, 2017

BERWICK - It’s a building that’s left some people utterly speechless.

The doors to the new Berwick and District Library opened Jan. 19, and patrons wasted no time getting in to take a look.

Branch manager Barbara Lipp says the response to the bright, open concept space has been overwhelmingly positive, with some visitors offering the following feedback: “love the living room,” “it’s gorgeous,” and “just wow.”

“Berwick has always been quite busy,” says Lipp, noting that the branch regularly records a spike in circulation year after year.

“But it’s certainly busier now.”

The library has sections for children, teens and adults, with plenty of cozy nooks for those who want to stay awhile and get lost in a book, magazine, game or even a conversation.

The Kings Mutual Living Room is open for guests to catch up on their reading, or enjoy a nice chat by the fireplace.

“It’s important for all generations to interact and a library is a space where that can be done,” says Lipp.

“We really wanted to create a space where people could stay and hang out.

In the past it would get crowded really quickly.”

The larger library – part of the new Town Hall complex on Commercial Street – means more opportunities for programs, a vast collection of books and more seating.

Now that she’s enjoying the end result of a project that was years in the making, Lipp says it seems it was only yesterday people started rallying together to make this happen.

“It’s pretty amazing,” she says with a smile.

Janien Mainwaring concurs.

“It’s lovely. It’s bright. It’s spacious. It looks like something for everybody,” she says. “It’s inviting.”

Mainwaring visits the library with her children several times a month. They’ve borrowed books, taken out interlibrary loans, attended community activities – you name it.

“It’s great to be able to access the services of a library,” says Mainwaring.

“It’s a place where you meet friends. When (my children) were really young I would come here to baby group and that’s where I met a lot of local people, which is great.”

Her daughter, 10-year-old Hannah Mainwaring, loves the selection of books she has at her fingertips when she’s browsing through the shelves at the Berwick Library.

“I like that they have all different types of books to choose from and if you can’t find one book, you can still find another book that you like,” says Hannah.

“It’s grown. It’s much, much bigger and they’ve added new books.”

Retired librarian Irene Moore volunteered with the Friends of the Library group formed to assist with the fund raising efforts that helped turn the vision for a new library into a reality.

“I love it. When you compare it to what the old library was, this is amazing,” says Moore.

“It’s wonderful, just wonderful.”