MASON — An open house and dedication ceremony for the Robert and Louise Claflin Annex at the Mason City Library has been set for Friday, Dec. 16.
The event will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. at the library, located at 502 Brown Street. It will begin with a ribbon cutting at 2 p.m., according to Pam Thompson, county library director.
The 20- by 40-foot room was built with grant money from the Robert and Louise Claflin Foundation. The $40,000 grant, announced in February, was the largest grant to-date in the history of the foundation. It was presented by Stephen Littlepage, foundation president.
The addition houses children’s books, and will serve as a room for youth activities, such as story hour and summer reading. It is also available to the community and organizations for meetings and activities. The room has an outside entrance from Third Street, complete with a handicap accessible ramp.
Prior to the construction of the children’s room, story hour was held in the main area of the library, making it hard for patrons to search for books or use the computers. The children’s book section has also been moved to the annex, enabling the adult fiction and non-fiction to be separated into two different areas. Where story hour tables once set, the library now has a comfortable settee and benches to allow for reading.
The annex also includes a kitchenette, but because the grant was only for the construction and not the furnishings, Thompson said there are no appliances. Donations are currently being accepted for a stove and refrigerator, as well as additional library shelving.
Thompson said she is excited about the changes at the library and hopes people will come out to see them, and to see what services are offered there.
About: The Robert and Louise Claflin Foundation was established in 2009 for the purpose of providing financial support to projects, groups and citizens of Mason County, West Virginia. It is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 tax exempt organization created for charitable purposes.
Robert and Louise Claflin resided in New Haven, and attended the First Church of God of New Haven. Although Louise Claflin was a native of Mason County, Robert Claflin moved from Massachusetts as a young man to begin his long-time career with Vanadium Corporation, also known as Foote Mineral Company in West Virginia. He was educated in the Northeastern University chemist program and was a financial contributor as an alumnus.
Without children of their own, the couple was immersed in community and church activities, focused on personal health and wellness, enjoyed reading, and strongly believed in academic achievement in the education setting, and realizing the betterment of self in the classroom of life. The couple was devoted to the care of stray animals in the community by providing food, companionship and sometimes, shelter to cats and dogs.
Information on the Claflin Foundation provided by Hyer & Littlepage.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org