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NEWSTEAD LIBRARY PLANS EXPLAINED TO RESIDENTS

Newstead's hopes to replace the small Akron-Denio Memorial Library at John and Franklin streets in the Village of Akron with a 6,000-square-foot facility to serve the growing town may soon become a reality.

About 50 residents gathered in Akron Central School for a public information meeting Tuesday night on a final library-facility study.

Representatives of Foit-Albert Associates said after extensive review of several different locations, talks with various community focus groups, and data gathering, two sites are now under consideration: the south side of Main Street next to Village Hall, and on the corner of Buell Street and
Westgate Avenue.

They said the sites ranked highest because of their location near the geographic center of town, and both are in a highly visible, prominent area of the village.

The town's library, a two-story, 2,600-square-foot facility is housed in a building that is more than 50 years old and is about 200 percent over capacity of books per linear shelf foot, according to the American
Library Association.

A new facility, which has been years in the planning, will serve the public well into the future, officials said. Plans call for improving accessibility for the handicapped, expanding technology, children's services and programming, providing more comfortable seating, and upgrading office as well as staff facilities.

"We really came a long way," Councilman Thomas George said. "Our goal is to provide a first-class facility."

He said future discussions would include ways to secure funding for the proposed project, expected to cost about $2 million. He said sources of funding privately, as well as on the state and federal level are available, and he would like to see local fund-raising groups established.

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