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Progress apparent at Edith B. Ford Memorial Library

Things are looking up at the Edith B. Ford Public Library. The historic library located in downtown Ovid is a staple for the South Seneca community. The libraries in South Seneca—located in Ovid, Interlaken and Lodi—all serve as community centers for the small, rural towns and villages at Seneca’s south end.

On May 11 at 11 a.m. the Edith B. Ford Public Library will host a ribbon cutting for the multi-million dollar effort.

This week, Library Director Shannon O’Connor shared an update on the progress on Main Street in Ovid.

“The interior of the expanded building is 98 percent complete, and we have received a temporary certificate of occupancy that allows us to begin furnishing the space,” she explained. “It feels absolutely real and immense. We doubled our square footage, so we have much more space to move around in.”

O’Connor said the last year, during construction, some challenges have been felt that are equally real. “For the past year the four full-time staff members worked in a singular room that was 1,100 sqare feet and included our work stations, public computers, story time, and our collection of books and DVDs,” she explained. “We’re joking now that we need Star Trek communicators to find each other in our new building.”

The library expansion is no joke, though. Especially when considering the sheer volume of events that will be taking place in the newly-enhanced structure through the remainder of the year.

O’Connor expects three or four weeks of site work before final occupancy. “Receiving our permanent certificate of occupancy determines when we can open fully for the public. We still have three to four weeks of site work remaining for the project, including new parking lot lights, parking lot paving, patio paver installation and installing fencing around our external emergency exit stairway,” she continued. “We hope to be fully operational by our May 11 ribbon cutting ceremony; however, that is optimistic thinking at this point.”

Once operational, things will pick up for the summer. “We are planning adult art and music programs funded by the Finger Lakes Community Arts Grant and the Delavan Foundation for June, July and August. I have already scheduled camps for youth in July and one week in August. These include Film Making Camp, Camp Half Blood and Comic Creation Camp as well as a four week Summer Reading Program for kids. Our Summer Reading theme this year is space, and we already have Cornell Astronomy on board for a program as well as the Free Science Workshop out of Ithaca. We will host our three outdoor concerts on Fridays to coincide with the proposed Ovid Farmer’s Market.

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