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Wayne Post
  • Up to the task

  • Happy anniversary

    WHAT The Palmyra Community Library first anniversary open house

    WHEN Sunday, Feb. 10 from 2 to 4 p.m.

    WHERE at the library, 402 W. Main St., Palmyra

    MORE INFO Call 597-5276 or visit www.palmyra.pls-net.org

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  • Some 20,000 books, DVDs, audio books and magazines, over 35 heavy, oak book shelves, 13 computers, an assortment of chairs, desks and tables of varying sizes and they only had three weeks to move it all.
    But even before anything could be moved, renovations on the new Palmyra Community Library had to be completed.
    “The renovation of the building was done in stages,” Library Director Patricia Baynes said. “The contractors finished their part of the job in June 2011 but there was much to be done before the move-in date of Dec. 2011. This was when the community stepped in.”
    It was a true community effort, Baynes said, who was tasked with organizing the move. Volunteers and library board members stained hundreds of feet of oak trim. Rotary Cub members adopted and renovated the second floor program room. Volunteers painted hallways, offices and cleaned woodwork. Then the movers came, loading over 100 carts with books and other items, careful to keep them sorted properly for easy unpacking. Library staff and volunteers worked long hours assembling new shelving for the children's room and then shelving all the materials.
    “Moving the entire library and then putting it back together seemed a daunting task,” Baynes said, “but actually became an energizing experience as everyone worked together for their library.”
    It didn’t end with the move, however. There was still much to be done to make the new library at 402 W. Main St. a place for the community. Since opening day volunteers have continued putting finishing touches on the new library, Baynes said, such as helping organize the local history room, painting the mural in the program room and building the foot bridge over the creek in the parking lot which was an Eagle Scout project.
    “Patricia’s talents have allowed the library to function seamlessly, even with the added responsibility of the Palmyra Community Library’s massive renovation and move,” Library Board President Jennifer Voss said. “Without Patricia’s total commitment to our library’s relocation, it would have been an improbable task. Her efforts have given Palmyra a greatly enhanced library facility; with approximately triple the space for our community to use and enjoy for years to come.”
    With the Palmyra Community Library now settled into its new location, and every book shelved and computers installed, the task will not soon be forgotten by anyone involved, especially Baynes who was there every step of the way. For her efforts, Baynes was honored by the Pioneer Library System as the 2012 Director of the Year.
    “The committee recognized the incredible amount of work required to move to a new facility,” said Cassie Guthrie, executive director of the Pioneer Library System. “They did their research, and they now have the space to give the community what asked they asked for.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Now living in East Rochester, Baynes has been director at the library for 21 years. Her gift to the community is the library and all it has to offer.
    “I've tried to make the Palmyra Library a welcoming place for everyone, to make people feel that the library is their library,” she said.
    Today the library boasts an area just for teens with a diner-style booth, comfortable chairs for people to sit with their laptops and use free wifi, tables and private spaces for tutors and studentsa large meeting room for community groups to use and a second floor program room for every day events, ranging from Lego building and Fancy Nancy parties to book club meetings. The library has even seen an increase in circulation and new patrons who are discovering all that the library has to offer.
    “In the past twelve months Patricia has juggled the duties of Library Director with the responsibilities of overseeing the renovation, move, and ongoing construction at our new Palmyra Community Library,” Library Board treasurer Kathleen Wooden wrote in her recommendation letter. “Patricia’s vision for what was possible, transcended those who felt the investment was excessive, or felt the Palmyra community would not benefit from a larger more up to date building.”
    For Baynes, she was just one of many people who helped with the move and ultimately make the library what it is today.
    “I was completely taken by surprise,” Baynes said of the honor. “My first thought was that the award should be shared by the library trustees, staff and all the dedicated volunteers. I still feel that way. I'm so proud of them and our beautiful new community library.”
    Happy anniversary
    WHAT The Palmyra Community Library first anniversary open house
    WHEN Sunday, Feb. 10 from 2 to 4 p.m.
    WHERE at the library, 402 W. Main St., Palmyra
    MORE INFO Call 597-5276 or visit www.palmyra.pls-net.org
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