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West Newton Library plans holiday story time

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•When: Dec. 15 at 10 a.m.

•Where: West Newton Public Library, North Water Street, West Newton

Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 9:00 p.m.

With a holiday event, the public will be able to visit the West Newton Library for the first time since the end of May.

A free children's holiday story time is planned for 10 a.m. on Dec. 15 at the library.

Board members said light refreshments, crafts, stories and a visit from Santa Claus will reopen the doors of the library.

“All the kids are invited to come,” said board secretary Marlene Yurkovich. “They can tell their wishes to him.”

With an official reopening planned for after the first of the year, member Aaron Nelson said the board, which replaced the West Newton Woman's Club as stewards of the library in June, has submitted all the necessary paperwork for a transfer of the tax-exempt status, or 501(c)3.

“Basically, it comes down to the government, whoever you can get on the phone with more experience,” he said.

Visitors will be able to browse the library's books at the children's event, Yurkovich said.

The board is working on establishing a check-out system independent of the Westmoreland Library Network, which previously connected the West Newton Library to other county members.

The network removed circulation computers and systems when the West Newton Library was closed. The new West Newton library board members presented a financial plan to the network board, but it was rejected at a Sept. 26 meeting and without a long-term financial plan, the network has not given any further support.

Nancy Gresko, executive director of the Westmoreland Library Network, said in October the West Newton board needs to have a more sustainable plan in order to rejoin the Westmoreland Library Network.

No major repairs or changes are needed before the library is reopened, just minor cleaning, Nelson said.

The board is looking for volunteers who would be willing to help at the library once it reopens as well as anyone interested in joining a “friends of the library” group, Nelson said.

A membership drive is also planned for early next year, he said.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 724-836-6660.

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