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Submitted photo Dover Free Library received about 20,000 worth of renovations.

DOVER >> Children's Librarian Tamara Hamm says new renovations have received "great reviews" so far.

"Our patrons' feedback is really positive. Most of the patrons like the new carpet style," she said. "It's lively. It makes the space look bigger."

Dover Free Library Assistant Nancie McLean picked out the design.

One patron asked if there were less book shelves, causing Hamm to laugh. The library has more bookshelf space than before, Hamm said, suggesting the darker carpet might be making the room appear larger. Other patrons also say the space looks more open.

"When I look at it," said Hamm, "it's almost like 3-D. I wasn't sure I'd like the stripes. But it's good."

Carpeting was replaced and some linoleum tile squares were added to the entrance and coffee bar. And all of the metal shelves are currently in the process of being replaced with custom-made maple-wood shelves built by local cabinetmaker John Thurber.

Library staff and trustees wanted to do as much business locally to try and stimulate the local economy, said Hamm. The carpet came from a small company in Bennington.

Movers from Massachusetts were selected for their experience as they specialize in moving libraries. Items were taken off racks and shrink wrapped. But books had to be removed one by one from the shelves then stored.

"They have special custom-made dollies for library books," said Hamm. "Then they had to move them all onto the shelves coming back in and they did a really good job."


Not too many books were found out of order, she said.

Installed in the Work Room were counters, cabinets and work spaces. The rear section of building is used by staff.

An infant-changing station was added to the bathroom.

"That's not something we were able to offer before," said Hamm.

Still to come are window treatments and a new circulation desk.

"It's been a long time since we've had anything on the windows that have been functional," said Hamm.

Approximately $20,000 for the work was approved by the Select Board and library trustees. Hamm said the trustees were actively involved in making decisions for the upgrades.

Some of the funding came out of the library's capital budget and the Graves Fund. But a good portion of it was from an endowment left by Marie Waugh, said Hamm.

Library Assistant Nancie McLean said Waugh and her husband Dr. Richard Waugh were longtime East Dover residents. They were patrons at the library for many years.

Deadlines for book returns were pushed out while the library was under renovation and temporarily closed from May 20 to 30. Hamm said the Children's Room was packed full of bookshelves, books and parts.

"Everything in the main part of the library was stored or pushed into the Children's Room, Community Room and Work Room," she said. "The computers were taken out."

Library director John Flores oversaw aspects of the project.

"He came in and out, and checked on it," Hamm said. "He did a huge amount of work. He did a lot of hard work, the footwork, all the planning and coordinating, and getting the estimates. He was in here monitoring the work as it was being done."

Contact Chris Mays at or 802-254-2311, ext. 273.