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New Mary J L Black library opens

Mabel Silver says she’s addicted to reading. The 78-year-old great great-grandmother has read thousands of books – from Robert Parker to Agatha Christie.
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Mabel Silver, 78, holds the first book checked out of the new Mary J.L. Black Public Library on May 9, 2011. (Jeff Labine, tbnewswatch.com)
Mabel Silver says she’s addicted to reading.

The 78-year-old great great-grandmother has read thousands of books – from Robert Parker to Agatha Christie. She enjoys mystery novels, and has a preference for the classics because, as she sees it, the more recent stories often reveal the culprit too early.

Silver has been checking out book from the library since 1942, and as a Westfort resident most of the books she’s checked out have been from the Mary J.L. Black Library.

"Off and on, I had to raise a family and work," said Silver, a former manager of the Educational Employees Credit Union. "Since I retired in 1985, I’ve become a read-aholic. I don’t know if I have a favourite book but I like mysteries because they make you think."

She said she felt honoured to be the first person to check out a book at the new Mary J.L. Black Public Library, located on 901 S. Edward St, on Monday, the first day the new library opened its doors to the public.

With computers, and e-books readily available, Silver said she was glad to see the library keeping up with the times.

"When I went to the library, you took a book and read the book and that’s how you travelled the world," she said. "Now, you just go on the Internet and that’s how you travel the world. The library has to keep up with the times and they have all the way along."

Ted McGregor lined up to check out a stack of Stuart Wood novels that he and his wife planned to read. He said it was great to have a new library in Westfort because it was close to his house.

Maria Watson and her two-year-old-grandson Jake read a few books in the childrens’ play area. Watson said she liked the way the new building looked and how well the library staff had organized it.

"It’s a lot bigger than the other library," Watson said. "They have a play area for the little ones so it’s very nice. It’s amazing. We live in the area so we`ll be down here all the time."

Although the library is now officially open, Barbara Philp, acting chief librarian for the Mary J.L. Black Library, said the grand opening ceremony for the new building will take place on  June 11.

Philp said there were a few last-minute touches the library needed.

"We wanted to give ourselves that month to work out some of the glitches," Philp said. "In terms of what we don’t have here, it is mainly the finer details. The bulk of (what we need) is here and we’re ready to go so why keep the doors locked any longer?"






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