OXFORD – The third phase of the Oxford Memorial Library’s building project, now completed, was properly recognized on Memorial Day in a Dedication Ceremony for the new Community Room. What was once a dream on paper is now a beautiful reality. Honored guests and many community members gathered for this momentous occasion. Hosting the event was Bill Troxell, Library Board Trustee, who thanked the many people who made it all possible.
It was almost exactly one year ago that dignitaries, library members, and friends gathered to break ground for this portion of the expansion. Amazingly the Community Room, about 1,100 square feet is now completed, ambitious goals have been satisfied, and the room is ready to use.
Because the library was once the home of the famous bridge designer Theodore Burr, and is on the National Register of Historic Places, certain stylistic considerations had to be respected. Honoring the period design elements was one goal which has been done impeccably. There’s a perfect marriage of reproduction details contrasted with very fine state-of-the-art modernizations that include wireless internet and a direct fire alarm system.
A second goal was to provide space for youth programs and community meetings, which it comfortably will do. It even has a handy kitchenette and pantry, to allow for making refreshments.
The third goal was to allow for greater accessibility for disabled patrons. With its interior lift and an expanded rest room, accessibility is no longer an issue. All of these objectives could not have been accomplished without community support.
Bill Troxell thanked his wife Diane for her support; the Library Board members; Nancy Morey, Capital Campaign Administrative Assistant, for grant writing; Nancy Wilcox, the Library Director, and her many staff members for doing a wonderful job. He thanked the Oxford Garden Club for all the landscaping plans and work; and Gene Rood, Kurt Spencer, Tim Ross and Ray Baldwin for all their special attention to details.
Nancy Morey presented Tia Zink, the director of NYS Senator Libous’ BOOKs Program with a book about library culture called “This Book is Overdue!” by Marilyn Johnson, as a thank you gesture. Tia congratulated everyone on a wonderful job.
Guest speaker, David Karre, the Four County Library System Executive Director, gave a brief speech about how thrilled he was to be at the library celebrating on Memorial Day which also celebrates freedoms like the freedom of speech. Karre said, “It was a pleasure to work with this library board. They ‘get it’. They know how to do it! They had a vision and a plan, step, by step, by step.” And he added, “This board does it. They work with the community for the community!”
Part of the ceremony recognized monetary gifts for the kitchenette, which was in memory of Mildred and Baumes Marshman by the Marshman Family and David D. Burroughs by his family. The “Leonard Tefft” bathroom was developed with the help of Barbara Tefft. The handicap lift, received partial funding by Barbara Boname in memory of Dr. & Mrs. Mat G. Boname. The Meeting Room entrance was a gift from the NBT Bank, and the new bookcase was a gift by the Walsh Family in memory of Lyle S. Walsh.
Troxell stood in front of a large wooden plaque decorated with many donor names of those who contributed to the capital project fund. He said that there were many families and individuals in the community who gave what they could afford – over 300 donations; and to the many, they were so grateful. Unfortunately not all those names would fit on the plaque, so only the $1,000+ contributors names were there.