WHITE HAVEN — The grand opening of the White Haven Community Library and Visitors Center was much more than a celebration of the provision of a wonderful collection of books to area residents, its proponents said. It was the reflection of the community’s spirit and cultural interests.
It also was a reflection on the commitment of volunteers who staff the library and made the opening of its new building possible, they said.
The renovated building reflects the history and diversity of the area. Nestled on the Lehigh River bank, it once was a Lehigh Valley Railroad engine house. Visitors are greeted with a full-sized rendering of a train as it might have appeared there in the past.
Diane Lamson, president of the library board of directors, lauded the borough for purchasing the building in 2002 and making the renovation possible. Over the last 11 years, volunteers’ efforts and sponsors’ contributions have allowed the vision to become a reality.
“The library and visitors center retains its ‘railroadness,’” said Seth Isenberg, co-chairman of the White Haven Scenic Rail Excursion Committee, which is looking forward to using the library as a base for an upcoming excursion through the Lehigh Valley Gorge.
This weekend’s event, well attended by area residents, included building tours, a guided walking tour along the Lehigh River, an art exhibition and children’s activities including storytelling and outdoor games.
“The children thoroughly enjoyed the bounce house,” said Brian Carter, originally from White Haven. “But they also benefit by being surrounded by many good books.”
Despite the unseasonably cold temperatures and wind, Carter’s children, Kendall, 4, and Nolan, 2, seemed to be greatly enjoying spending time outdoors on the library grounds.
Charlotte Carter, board vice president, looks forward to the library and visitors center fulfilling its mission of “serving local residents with a vast and varied collection of information, technology and programming … and to preserve and promote local history, lore and legacy”
For more information about the library, including hours of operation, call 443-8776.