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Cambridge Public Library Opening

On Thursday I went to the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Cambridge Public Library. I was heavily involved in the project as a member of the Library21 committee which was charged with determining the need and the program and help build resident support, and then the Design Advisory Committee which worked with the Architects. The Library21 committee first met in May of 1996. It was created because a previous plan had been shot down because of neighborhood opposition. 13 1/2 years later we have a new facility - to open for service on November 8.

The library is a renovation of the late nineteenth century building and a huge new modern addition - a magnificent juxtaposition of the old and the new. They ripped down the ugly 1967 addition, did a first-class renovation of the old building - inside and out - and built a new building with lots of glass with the highest degree of LEED certification. The project also included an underground parking garage, renovation of the park and some work on the adjoining high school.

This room was cluttered with old shelving and was in pretty bad shape.

The Ten Commandments are on the wall in the computer room that was originally where the desk for requesting items from the closed stacks were. They must remain there according to conditions in the bequest from Frederick Rinnge who gave the land and the building in the 19th century,

A part of the Children's room on the top floor of the new addition.

The New Books section. It used to be a couple of shelves in the entrance hall with little room to display anything.

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It's worth pointing out that the carpet in that picture of the children's room is three-dimensional -- it's contoured as if it were rocks (but it's much softer than actual rocks, fortunately).

Altogether it's a fantastic job. I can't wait until it opens for business (a week from Sunday).

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The new building is very modern - with a glass wall that allows you to see inside the building and see books and people - and look out and see the park. The old building is stone work with some contrasting shades and they are connected by a small glass walled corridor So you see old and modern together. I should go take an exterior picture. I think this building is going to get national attention.

So looking forward to being able to walk down the street to my library again!

When I was there on opening day later in the afternoon, the movie screen was down, blocking the ten commandments.

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