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Morristown Centennial Library Renovates For Its Second Century

Amy Kolb Noyes

A grand opening celebration following a library renovation project doesn’t always attract a lot of attention. But when that library is one of only four built in Vermont, over a century ago, by Andrew Carnegie… and it happens to be in the House Speaker’s hometown, dignitaries take note.

Work on the Morristown Centennial Library started three years ago with a groundbreaking ceremony attended by then-Governor Jim Douglas. Today Governor Peter Shumlin greeted a full house in the newly expanded library. He said the expansion ensures the historic library will serve generations to come.

“It ensures we take technology and combine it with the history of this extraordinary space, and realize that the two must meet so that libraries can remain the center of community,” the governor commented.

Speaker of the House Shap Smith grew up using the Morristown library for his school research projects. He said it’s been amazing to watch the library’s evolution.

“They’ve made the library lighter, more modern, but still it has the historical elements,” said Smith, “and you feel like you’re part of the history of the town. It’s incredible. It’s a wonderful tribute to a sustained vision by a core of the community. I can’t say enough about how proud I am of the people who have done this work.”

Even though it’s more than a century old, the Morristown Centennial Library now offers public computers, e-book lending, and it will soon add video conferencing to its list of state-of-the-art services.