Refurbished Leechburg Public Library reopens |
Valley News Dispatch

Refurbished Leechburg Public Library reopens

Chuck Biedka
Chuck Biedka | Tribune-Review
Brooklyn Redmond examines a book with Leechburg Library Board President Karen Freilino and Librarian Lisa Kimbrugh.
Chuck Biedka | Tribune-Review
Bright, open reading and studying space is available once again at the Leechburg Public Library that reopened Tuesday afternoon. The library will be open from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Plans are in the works to add Saturday hours.

Leechburg’s public library reopened Tuesday.

The early afternoon turn-out was slow, but appreciative.

In recent days, the refurbished library got attention from about 10 community volunteers who spruced up the facility, library board President Karen Freilino said.

Librarian Lisa Kimbrugh welcomed Brooklyn Redmond, a sixth grader, as the first patron, who said she was excited about being associated with a library. Redmond clearly was at home among the books.

Kimbrugh said she has enjoyed libraries and volunteered at Leechburg’s public library when she was a student at Leechburg Area High School, where the library is located, and at libraries at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

“Books help us to expand our minds,” she said. “Even when people can’t afford to travel, they can still find out about other people and places,” she said.

There are books and much more inside the library.

Patrons who prefer to access their favorite fiction or nonfiction authors electronically can do so via Kindle or ebooks through the library.

A spacious computer lab is less than 10 steps away from a cafe with a pizza oven, coffee and hot chocolate machines — all provided by the Leechburg Area School District.

There also is a space on the other side of the cafe for pre-school and early readers.

Access is available to the Carnegie Library System and the New Castle Area Library system, which provides services across Armstrong County, library board member Doreen Smeal said.

The library abruptly closed May 30.

Smeal is the only former board member to sign up for the revived board.

“She has been invaluable,” Freilino said. “She knows the system.”

Volunteers went through 40 boxes in storage to catalog memorial books donated in the more than 90 years the library has been open.

“We put out the newer ones and the ones that seemed relevant. We have a list of all of the books so, if someone asks about a particular book donated in memory, we can have an answer quickly,” she said.

The library’s 93rd birthday is five days away. The library first opened its doors Sept. 7, 1926.

Only two public libraries in the state have facilities inside public schools.

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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