DIRECTOR BOOSTS OFFERINGS OF EXPANDED PELHAM LIBRARY

Library Director Sue Hoadley enjoys the spacious surroundings the recently renovated Pelham Library now enjoys., VALLEY DISPATCH/BENJAMIN J. MCELROY
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BY CHRISTINE PHELAN , valley dispatch staff

PELHAM — Now two years after the $1.6 million renovation that ferried the library several hundred yards from its former abbreviated space to a new building down the street, library director Sue Hoadley says it all “still feels new.”

The 10,000-square-foot space, however — more than three times the size of the previous — doesn’t mean the small staff has gone hog wild purchasing new books. In fact, holdings have increased only modestly, Hoadley says, from about 25,000 to just over 28,000.

“We need to carefully manage what we have,” says Hoadley, who “weeds” tired and outdated titles from the shelves regularly. “Occasionally, we hear people say the shelves are empty. But to a librarian, that’s good. It means we have room to grow.”

Over her 1 1/2 year tenure, Hoadley has boosted numbers of large print books, the library’s video collection and is currently reviewing plans to buoy holdings of audio books which she says are “very, very popular.” At Town Meeting next spring, Hoadley plans to ask citizens to boost the children’s librarian position from 28 to 30 hours so the staff person might incur benefits. She’s also reviewing whether it’d be beneficial for Pelham to join a New Hampshire library consortium. Currently, the library participates in an active interstate library loan program.

It’s all part of her plan to better serve patrons.

“Our patronage and attendance has just exploded since the move,” Hoadley said, noting that card holders are up 40 percent over the last two years, and library users have more than doubled from just over 12,000 to more than 25,000.

The Pelham Public Library is located at 24 Village Green, in the town center. Hours of operation are Mondays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.