Thursdays Just Got Better

Tuesday April 11, 2023

Sarah Cognata with a sign spreading the news - Georgetown Library

GEORGETOWN – George Peabody, the financier and father of modern American philanthropy, was smiling from his portrait atop the stairs at the public library named for him because Thursdays just got better.
After years of being closed on Thursdays to save money, the Town’s Finance Committee, with the encouragement of town administrator Orlando Pacheco, voted this year to accept library director Sarah Cognata’s budget that included opening from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday.
“This is momentous,” Cognata said last week on the first Thursday the Georgetown Peabody Library has been open. “It is wonderful for the town.”
It means residents can pick up books, fax and print documents, hold meetings, listen to story times and visiting authors and do research.
Georgetown was the only library in the area that closed on a weekday, except the Newbury public library, which closes on Mondays.
“Georgetown has approved budget funding for Thursday openings, something the Trustees and the last two Library Directors had been advocating for many years,” said library trustee Chris Laut. Cognata has asked to open on Thursdays in each budget she has presented in the eight years she has headed the library.
On the first day, there was a rush early and a constant flow of patrons all day, Cognata said.
The Friends of the Georgetown Peabody Library, which lobbied town officials for Thursday openings, hosted a party on Wednesday to celebrate the additional hours.
The Finance Committee approved the addition of hours without reducing hours on other days. Pacheco, after hearing from residents about wanting Thursdays at the library open, told the Finance Committee, “We can do this,” Cognata said.
“We had a lot of people whispering in his ear,” she said.
Thursdays being open will cost the town about $100,000 a year in additional salaries, cleaning, utilities and additional book and resource purchases to keep the library certified, she said.
In addition, the library has added four electric vehicle charging stations in front of the library. They will be operational as soon as they can be connected to the library’s electrical breakers, Laut said.

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