Connellsville's Carnegie Free Library's 110th birthday bash draws crowd
By Marilyn Forbes
Published: Monday, May 6, 2013, 9:33 a.m.
With voices rising from the crowd singing “Happy Birthday,” the 110th anniversary of the Carnegie Free Library in Connellsville officially began as the newly refurbished, grand side doors were reopened to greet the public.
“We wouldn't be here today if it weren't for the hard work of the FRIENDS group and the others who volunteered to help make this day possible,” board President John Malone said. “It's the members of this community that keep our library going, and we are grateful for their continued support.”
The day began with the singing and ribbon-cutting, which introduced an afternoon of fun for many of the facility's board members, community members and new faces who came to see the library.
“We read about this and thought we would come to see the library and learn more about its history,” said Pat Welsh of Connellsville Township. “This is a remarkable building, and it's wonderful to see it still standing and thriving when so many close their doors. This may be one of the nicest libraries that I have ever seen.”
People filtered in and out throughout the day, enjoying the historical displays, new additions to the children's area, the soon-to-be opened café, and readings by students from Geibel Catholic Junior-Senior High School who volunteered to participate in 110 consecutive minutes of reading.
The students read from a large variety of literary works, averaging about 9 minutes each, penned by authors like Mark Twain and Jack London.
The 110 minutes was started by library director Casey Sirochman, who read the history of the library.
The Connell Room was open for the day, and Connellsville Area Historical Society President Karen Hechler welcomed visitors and explained the room.
“These books that are located in this room are only to be read here and not taken out,” she explained. “These are all rare books, historical in nature. We'll help you with them, but they must not leave this room.”
Hechler added that the room stores books that cover different facets of the area.
“There are many interesting books here that pertain to different areas of history from Connellsville,” she said. “You can find many interesting things to read about.”
A fun and interesting addition to the afternoon were “Mother May I” classes, which were offered to adults and teenagers. Demetria Pappas taught the fine art of everything from handshaking and introductions to table manners and etiquette.
“Don't ever take for granted something like a handshake and introduction,” Pappas said. “People will remember you long afterwards from the way you shook their hand. It's something that they will remember.”
The vibrant new carpeting in the children's reading area is eye-catching, with its colorful and whimsical patterns.
“The children love the new carpeting and all of the improvements that we have been making,” children's librarian Judy Takoch said of the work in that area for the past year. “From the ceilings to all of the work that we had done by the carpentry students, it's so colorful and fun, and the children just love it.”
Andrea Guth of Connellsville Township brought her granddaughter Kylie Cole to read for the afternoon.
“She just loves it here,” Guth said. “She loves all the new colors, and she just enjoys coming here.”
The afternoon also featured children's reading and music.
“This is an exciting day for us,” Sirochman said of the anniversary celebration. “It's so great to see people from the community come to celebrate with us and to enjoy this special day with us. We are so thankful to everyone who helped to make this a special day and a special celebration for us.”
Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- $1.3M equipment, which lowers voltage, leaves Connellsville for Charleroi
- Connellsville police hitting the streets on foot and bikes
- Connellsville area benefits from tourism grant program
- Connellsville’s new curfew —with stiffer penalties — to begin on April 26
- Fayette County candy stores say public sweet on jelly beans as well as chocolate
- Cause of Mill Run turbine collapse still being investigated
- Celebrate National Library Month with sweet contest in Connellsville
- Brush fire season keeps Fayette firefighters busy
- No date set for closing on proposed hotel property in Connellsville
- Human trafficking a ‘huge problem,’ expert tells Penn State Fayette audience
- Everson council to meet on Monday