By Abbie Newton
Mason Times staff writer
The Mason Library has been a community institution since Albert Hall had it built in memory of his wife, Ada, in 1938. Hall built it at the site of his childhood home on Ash Street.
Head Librarian Cheryl Lyons said the library is still a fixture in the community.
“It has 75 years of history, and it is one of the best historic buildings in town” -Head Librarian Cheryl Lyons
Lyons said the library was a showpiece for the city of Mason. It underwent renovations and was expanded in the 1960s and 1970s, and Lyons still considers it a valuable asset to the community.
“It is a jewel to the community and we need to take care of it,” Lyons said.
Mason resident Amanda Palmer said the library is important to the community. She is the mother of five children and said she and her children come to the library at least once a week.
“It opens up the door to so many resources,” Palmer said. “My kids can come in and have reading time, do crafts or participate in social activities.”
Palmer said she runs a daycare in the summer and appreciates having a free, open space to bring the children.
“It is kind of like going to a bookstore and knowing that you can get anything you want for free. I love it.” -Mason resident Amanda Palmer
Ava Welhl has worked at Mason Library for just over three years and said she enjoys its community atmosphere.
“You can just sort of be here, exist with other people in the community and pursue interests on your own.” Welhl said. “It is nice to have a place to be out and about.”
With this community atmosphere, Welhl has had the opportunity to meet many Mason residents.
“It is really fun to be able to recognize people and know their names, as well as what they are looking for,” Welhl said.
While some people come to read or study, Lyons said others take advantage of the variety of activities and programming available. The summer reading program, story time, themed parties, adult discussion groups, Lego club, game board club and genealogy explorations are just a handful of the available activities, Lyons said. She also said the library has free-ebooks available for cardholders. Lyons said she is proud of the e-book service, but she still appreciates reading from a tangible book.
“The book is a different type of experience,” Lyons said. “You are not passive, you are engaging. Your mind and imagination are creating the pictures.”
However, Lyons said she has many plans to continue to change and improve the Mason Library. She wants to do more renovations, expand the library, increase usage among families and make it wheelchair accessible.
“We need to have a plan for the future to keep it going for another 25 years.” Lyons stated.
In the short term, however, Lyons was happy to celebrate the library’s history at the 75th anniversary party on Oct. 15.