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People & Places

Fairlawn-Bath Library celebrates 50 years

6/12/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Ariel Hakim

FAIRLAWN —The Fairlawn-Bath Branch Library has played an important role in the community for the past 50 years, according to Theresa Munka, the branch’s teen librarian.

To celebrate its storied history and highlight the library’s evolving present and future, a golden anniversary celebration took place June 7, which was attended by adults, children and some special animals.

“Library use has continued to grow with the community,” as the building sees a diverse population of visitors that includes both people who live and work in the area, said Munka.

At the anniversary event, which took place at the library, the library’s mascot, a lion cub named Paws, was on hand to spend time with patrons. He is shown at top, assisting at the checkout desk with, from left, patron Marlene Gaino, of Wadsworth, his handler Jessica Kekelis and librarian Cheryl Dobbins.

Bravo, a PAWS for Reading dog, also spent time working during the celebration doing his usual job of listening to children read.

Librarian Brian Burch is shown at right bottom pausing for a moment as he reads a book to his children Alex, 2, and Kaeley, 7, to pet Bravo.

During the event, children’s librarian Pam Teeter also helped Copley children Leon Du, 4, and Drake Du, 10, make bookmarks to commemorate the occasion, shown at right top.

Outside the building, attendees learned about the library’s past during a storywalk about the library’s history that led them on a path around the library’s lawn. A page on the storywalk is shown below.

Since its opening as Bath Library June 8, 1964, in a renovated house at 3867 Ira Road, the library has become the Akron-Summit County Public Library system’s busiest branch, with 21,570 borrowers, 75,234 books and more than 400,000 items in circulation in 2013, according to Fairlawn-Bath Branch Manager Jane Scott.

The library moved to its current Smith Road location in 1971 as the McDowell Branch Library and was later replaced by the current expanded building, which opened in 2004, according to library officials.

— By Ariel Hakim

Photos: Dale Dong

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