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POWNAL — Community members of all ages gathered at Solomon Wright Public Library on Saturday for an open house to get a first look at the completion of a renovation project three years in the making.

Handouts explaining the renovations and new aspects of the public library guided attendees through the modern-looking building. In total, eight stops were highlighted for visitors to take in.

Blue tape throughout the library guided guests along the route of the tour.

Kaitlyn Hunt was one of many to attend the open house, which ran from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hunt teaches third grade at Pownal Elementary School and believes the renovations will attract more youth.

“I think that this is going to be sort of a mecca (for youth),” Hunt said. “We don’t have much for the kiddos, so this has always been a space that I’ve noticed a lot of children visiting. And I think now it’s even more inviting to them.”

The new children’s section of the library is a spacious spot where children can find books to read or simply play.

“After COVID, we will have many toys and an interactive play space. We look forward to filling this space with stories, activities and play,” reads the self-guided tour handout.

Mary Natalizia serves as the chairwoman of the board of trustees of the Solomon Wright Library. Finally being able to share the renovations with the public is “a dream come true” to her.

“To get people to come see it and hopefully use the library more, it’s very exciting,” Natalizia said.

Willy Jones, a trustee at the library, is excited with the new look to the library he’s been associated with for about 10 years.

“I think it’s stunning,” Jones said. “We’ve still retained the nice little comfortable atmosphere, but it’s brighter and it’s just beautiful.”

“I hope that this is going to bring more people in,” Jones said. “We would love people to take advantage of all the wonderful things that we have here. Not just books, there’s so much more here.”

Megan Randall is one of many volunteers at the library. She hadn’t been to the library since the pandemic started in March. Randall was happy to be back on Saturday.

“I really love this little library, it’s wonderful,” Randall said. “And now it’s so much brighter and happier!”

Homemade cookies and bookmarks were handed out at the completion of the tour. There was also a 50/50 raffle that included various prizes including a bookcase, a $25 gift certificate to ‘Where’d You Get That’ in Williamstown, Mass. and a set of fall mums.

The Solomon Wright Public Library is now open to the public. Current hours of operation are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from noon to 4 p.m. Curbside pickup is available.

The library is located at 97 Main St. in Pownal.

Michael Mawson can be reached on Twitter @Mawson_Sports or via email at mmawson@benningtonbanner.com.

Sports Reporter

Michael Mawson is a sports reporter for the Bennington Banner. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of New Hampshire in 2019. Michael was the sports editor of UNH’s student newspaper where he covered NCAA Division I athletics.


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