Newcastle Library will feature 35,000 new books
September 6, 2012
By Christina Corrales-Toy
The Newcastle Library is on track to open in late October, according to Greg Smith, the director of Facilities Management Services with the King County Library System.
Much of the work completed in August consisted of electrical work and installing the glass windows as they began to arrive. Workers also began installing sod on the library’s green roof.
Smith said the plan is to start moving furniture and shelving in late September, in preparation for the opening.
Julia Hunter, president of the Friends of the Newcastle Library, said that after all of the setbacks the library has experienced, she thinks that realistically, it will be opened by the end of the year.
“Well, we are hoping for late-October,” she said. “I’m more sanguine about it just getting done by the end of the year. But, I’m hoping that yes, they will actually be on schedule.”
Despite various setbacks for the library that broke ground in 2010, the Friends of the Newcastle Library group is in full swing, working to raise money to provide community programs at the library.
At the Aug. 21 City Council meeting, Councilwoman Carol Simpson announced that the Friends of the Newcastle Library is now an officially licensed Newcastle business and a member of the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce.
Friends groups are not uncommon in the King County Library System. There are currently more than 35 Friends groups, according to the KCLS website. The groups raise funds to support special projects and activities for their local libraries.
Hunter said the Friends of the Newcastle Library would use book sales to help raise funds. The group is seeking donations of gently used books and DVDs that will then be put up for sale. The profits will go back into providing programs at the Newcastle Library.
“The exact programs have not been picked out but I know some of the things that are out there,” Hunter said. “Sometimes there are history lectures, sometimes it’s a chance to meet authors and have book signings. Those are some of my favorite things.”
The group plans to help fund programs for everyone, young and old.
“Everything from reading-readiness programs for kids, to programs on aging issues for seniors,” she said. “It’s a broad mix and it’s designed to help the library be more useful to the community.”
One of the many exciting features of the new library will be the fact that all of the books on the shelves will be brand new.
The library system has spent the past two years collecting 35,000 new books and 8,000 new media items for the Newcastle Library, according to Alene Moroni, the manager of Selection and Order with KCLS.
“Over the last two years we have been buying materials for this library,” Moroni said. “When we open the doors we should have lots of new things on the shelf.”
Hunter said she can’t wait to see all of the new books.
“If you like the smell of new books, you want to get there when they open,” she said. “That first day, none of them will be in circulation, the shelves will be full.”
The Friends group is most excited about the library’s location, Hunter said.
“We are all really tired of going to some other town for a library,” she said. “A lot of us are looking forward to being able to walk to it.”
The delay of the Newcastle Library has been frustrating for everyone, Hunter said. Nonetheless, it doesn’t dampen her enthusiasm for the project.
“If we care enough about libraries to join a Friends group, we really want our library,” she said. “We are excited and we do see progress.”
The Friends of the Newcastle Library will collect book donations at a booth at Newcastle Days on Sept. 8. Hunter said that interested parties could also arrange to have the Friends group pick up books, by emailing the group at NewcastleLibraryFriends@comcast.net.
Get involved in the Friends of the Newcastle Library group and learn more about donating books by emailing NewcastleLibraryFriends@comcast.net.