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Saturdays return to Rumford Library
RUMFORD -- For the first time in more than a year, the Rumford Public Library opened their doors to patrons on a Saturday.
The library will remain open on Saturdays until the vote on the next library budget in June.
This is due to an accounting error of $11,205.93. That money had been incorrectly taken from the library's operating budget to pay accrued sick and vacation time for two longstanding employees who retired last year and who had a considerable amount of sick time accumulating and vacation time.
"This will mean quite a bit to patrons who can't get in here during weekdays," noted Library Director Luke Sorensen, adding that students will be able to come in here to do research and work as well.
"I've had people who come in on Thursdays (the only evening the library is open) and say they wished we were open on Saturdays," he said, adding that the additional day should increase the number of patrons as well as a circulation statistics for the library.
Sorensen said the windfall will not only return Saturdays to the library, but will also enable them to restore the library page, a position that has always been reserved for the Mountain Valley High School student.
He said he has been working since the end of September to find a library page and prepare for adding the Saturday schedule.
The new library page is MVHS sophomore Shannon Santillo, whose duties will include restocking shelves and putting things back in order.
Her first day was last Saturday.
"I love books and working in the library," said Santillo, adding that she know a bit about what's involved because she volunteered to help in the middle school library that she attended.
"This is a good job to get," she said, noting her previous work involved babysitting jobs.
Sorensen noted that since he took over as library director in August of 2010, they have been dealing with budget cuts that severely reduced staffing hours, and forcing him to close the library on Saturdays.
"I've been working since I got here to bring back Saturdays," he noted. Sorensen is now hopeful that having the Saturdays back until the town meeting will help his case during budget time to keep the library's Saturday hours into the next fiscal year.
The current library hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays and Saturdays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays.