By Eric O’Connell/Zip06.com • 08/11/2021 08:15 a.m. EST
In recognition of his decades of service, the Westbrook Public Library is naming its new technology room after longtime former librarian Lew Daniels. The new state-of-the-art room opens Saturday, Sept. 25.
To feed the growing demand of people who need access to modern creative equipment, the library will open a tech room with modern equipment like high end computers, tools for video and photo editing, podcasting equipment, telecommunications equipment, gaming equipment, and other software needs as well as space for computer classes. The room opens with an open house on Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to noon.
“Basically it’s a state-of-the-art center for people’s creative projects as well as for things like computer classes,” said Library Director Tim Kellogg.
Use of the room will be split between people’s own personal projects and classes, Kellogg said.
Bringing the center to life was a long-term project that took around five years to complete from conception to construction. About a year and a half ago, the project was put out to bid and work is now finally almost complete.
Kellogg noted that use of the room will be targeted to the town’s young adult population.
“I think the long-term benefit is that prior to this space we had limited space for present day technology services,” said Kellogg.
As one might expect, the reason the tech room is being named after Daniels is because he’s held in such high regard by those who knew and worked with him.
MaryJo Noonan is the president of the Library Board of Trustees and has been a Westbrook resident for more than 20 years. Noonan said that ever since she became a patron of the library, she was struck with how Daniels strived to make the library the best it could be by working with the Westbrook Foundation and the LION Consortium. LION (Libraries Online Incorporated) is a service that helps cover the circulation system, helps with cataloging, gives access to overdrive, as well as with delivery service for interlibrary loans.
“He was our friendly face for over 40 years,” said Noonan. “He had so many followers for so many years and so many reasons.”
The tech room will be an extension of Daniels’s efforts to make the library useful to all residents.
“Lew was very talented. He’d help with research and work to offer so many programs and meetings, too, to try and make the library the best it could be,” said Noonan.
All of Daniels’s work was noticed and appreciated, said Noonan.
“He was so open to making the library a place to go and to make it so welcoming,” said Noonan.
As Daniels’s retirement neared and the renovations on the room came to fruition, Noonan said it was an easy decision to honor Daniels by naming the room after him.
“We’re very, very excited by it,” said Noonan. “It’s so exciting to have an additional meeting space as well as a creative space.”
For more information on the library and its offerings, visit westbrooklibrary.lioninc.org.