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Library brings patrons back in time

Date: 3/7/2014

By Carley Dangona

WESTFIELD – The Westfield Athenaeum will celebrate a milestone event with a visit from the historical figures of its past.

A 150th Anniversary Open House will take place at the library, 6 Elm St., on March 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. The event will include interactive presentations, jazz music performed by the Westfield High School Jazz Ensemble and some surprises.

The library was incorporated into the city on March 11, 1864.

“See how services were in 1864 and what it meant to be a library back then,” Cher Collins, interim director, said. “Come and see us – get a second look.”

Collins said the open house is part of a yearlong celebration of the anniversary. She described the interactive platform as “having little historical vignettes, dramatic readings that portray key events and figures in the Athenaeum’s history.”

She added, “It is a huge honor to be part of this event. To know it’ll be part of our history a 100 years from now is exciting. To have 150 years under our belt is quite a feat.”

Personally, Collins loves libraries. “My favorite part of the library, as the mother of a young child, is introducing her to the world at her fingertips,” she said adding that it’s a way for her to share her chosen profession with her family.

As for the event itself, Collins said, “We are proud of the work we’ve done and look forward to stepping back from the details and enjoying the event.”

There is no cost to attend and the public is invited. For more information, call the library at 568-7833. For a full schedule of anniversary events, visit